Scientists believe a mega-tsunami was caused 3.4 billion years ago on Mars by an asteroid strike similar to the devastating blow that wiped out the dinosaurs.

A mega-tsunami on Mars could have been triggered by an asteroid strike similar to the devastating blow that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The giant wave, measuring up to 250 metres in height, was created about 3.4 billion years ago by the impact of an asteroid or comet in a shallow ocean in the northern lowlands of the red planet

Researchers at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, analysed maps of Mars' surface, created from photographs of previous missions to the planet.

They identified a crater - named Pohl - measuring 110km in diameter, which they believe was caused by the asteroid.

It is located in an area that previous studies indicated was submerged by ocean water around 120 metres below sea level.

Scientists believe it was formed 3.4 billion years ago based on its position above and below rocks previously dated to this time period.