Eridania Lake is a theorized ancient lake on Mars with a surface area of roughly 1.1 million square kilometers. It is located at the source of the Ma'adim Vallis outflow channel and extends into Eridania quadrangle and the Phaethontis quadrangle. As Eridania Lake dried out in the late Noachian epoch it divided into a series of smaller lakes.
Map showing estimated water depth in different parts of Eridania Sea This map is about 850 km (530 miles) across.
Features around Eridania Sea labeled
Later research with CRISM found thick deposits, greater than 400 meters thick, that contained the minerals saponite, talc-saponite, Fe-rich mica (for example, glauconite-nontronite), Fe- and Mg-serpentine, Mg-Fe-Ca-carbonate and probable Fe-sulphide. The Fe-sulphide probably formed in deep water from water heated by volcanoes. Such a process, classified as hydrothermal may have been a place where life began.
Deep-basin deposits from the floor of Eridania Sea. The mesas on the floor are there because they were protected against intense erosion by deep water/ice cover. CRISM measurements show minerals may be from seafloor hydrothermal deposits. Life may have originated in this sea.
Diagram showing how volcanic activity may have caused deposition of minerals on floor of Eridania Sea. Chlorides were deposited along the shoreline by evaporation.