drink the sweet feeling of the colour zero

Help; I need an exogeologist!

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So, this has been bothering me for a while now, and i can’t seem to find an answer.  Can large quantities of water behave like molten rock: reshaping the landscape in minutes or hours then freezing or evaporating/sublimating as it cools/heats to match its environment?  The specific question I have in mind is Mars.  On Mars we have conflicting theories as to the early state of the planet.  Some believe that Mars was “warm and wet.”  Others dispute this, believing it never had such a phase.  Yet at the same time there is plenty of evidence that liquid water once flowed on Mars.

Barring a “warm and wet” phase, I have to ask how this could be?  In my mind I am picturing vast quantities of ice rapidly melting. (Volcanic activity?  Planetary Impacts?? CME of doom?)  They shape the landscape rapidly; like a large glacial lake draining overnight and carving out a canyon.  Eventually (probably fairly quickly,) the water would freeze and/or sublimate (due to low atmospheric pressure.)

If there is some flaw in the above hypothesis, what other mechanisms exist that could reconcile the evidence we have of liquid water on Mars’ surface with the proposed lack of a “warm and wet” phase?

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