Lots of Water on Mars


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 28 May 2019

 

DOING GEOLOGY on MARS

Target: Martian North Polar Ice Cap
A view of Mars showing the planet's northern polar ice cap. A new study has found remnants of ancient ice caps buried in the north polar region, that if melted, would cover the planet in five feet of water. ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla.
A view of Mars showing the planet's northern polar ice cap. A new study has found remnants of ancient ice caps buried in the north polar region, that if melted, would cover the planet in five feet of water. ISRO/ISSDC/Emily Lakdawalla.

 

Lots of Water Ice on Mars

Massive Martian Ice Discovery Opens a Window into Red Planet's History,
University of Texas at Austin, May 22, 2019.

MAIN POINTS

"...layers of ice buried a mile beneath Mars' north pole are the remnants of ancient polar ice sheets and could be one of the largest water reservoirs on the planet." 

Martian Polar Ice Layers Exposed
Chasma Boreale
A vertically exaggerated view of Mars' north polar cap, that if melted, the massive ice deposits discovered in this region would cover the planet in 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water. Photo by SA/DLR/FU Berlin; NASA MGS MOLA Science Team.
A vertically exaggerated view of Mars' north polar cap. Researchers with The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Arizona estimate that if melted, the massive ice deposits discovered in this region would cover the planet in 1.5 meters (5 feet) of water. Photo by SA/DLR/FU Berlin; NASA MGS MOLA Science Team.

Cold Time Capsule
"...the layers of ice are a record of past climate on Mars in much the same way that tree rings are a record of past climate on Earth. Studying the geometry and composition of these layers could tell scientists whether climate conditions were previously favorable for life, researchers said. The team found layers of sand and ice that were as much as 90% water in some places."

Lots of Water
"If melted, the newly discovered polar ice would be equivalent to a global layer of water around Mars at least 1.5 meters (5 feet) deep."

"That likely makes it the third largest water reservoir on Mars after the polar ice caps."

How?
"...the layers formed when ice accumulated at the poles during past ice ages on Mars. Each time the planet warmed, a remnant of the ice caps became covered by sand, which protected the ice from solar radiation and prevented it from dissipating into the atmosphere."

Martian Seasons & Martian, "...glacial events on Mars,...are driven by variations in the planet's orbit and tilt. Over periods of about 50,000 years, Mars leans toward the sun before gradually returning to an upright position, like a wobbling spinning top."

The Martian Seasons

Lost & Found
"Until now, scientists thought that the ancient ice caps were lost. The paper shows that in fact significant ice sheet remnants have survived under the planet's surface, trapped in alternating bands of ice and sand, like layers on a cake."

"The findings were corroborated by an independent study using gravity data instead of radar."

Lots of Water on Mars
"Surprisingly, the total volume of water locked up in these buried polar deposits is roughly the same as all the water ice known to exist in glaciers and buried ice layers at lower latitudes on Mars, and they are approximately the same age."

 

April 2019
A Closer Look: Korolev Crater & the Moons of Mars
 

October 2018
Supercold Martian Brines Hold Enough Oxygen to Support Life?

 

July 2018
Lake Mars Discovered by Italian Radar on Mars Express Probe

With LINKS to earlier Mars Research...

 

Same Mechanism on Earth...
June 2018
PLANETARY ECOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK: Equatorial Activity and Milankovitch Running the Ice Ages?

 

 

 

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