NASA | JPL-Caltech | Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) | 2018 Jan 11
Researchers using NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) have found eight sites where thick deposits of ice beneath Mars' surface are exposed in faces of eroding slopes.
- Underground Martian Ice Deposit Exposed at Scarp
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UA/USGS
These eight scarps, with slopes as steep as 55 degrees, reveal new information about the internal layered structure of previously detected underground ice sheets in Mars' middle latitudes.
The ice was likely deposited as snow long ago. The deposits are exposed in cross section as relatively pure water ice, capped by a layer one to two yards (or meters) thick of ice-cemented rock and dust. They hold clues about Mars' climate history. They also may make frozen water more accessible than previously thought to future robotic or human exploration missions.
Researchers who located and studied the scarp sites with the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on MRO reported the findings today in the journal Science. The sites are in both northern and southern hemispheres of Mars, at latitudes from about 55 to 58 degrees, equivalent on Earth to Scotland or the tip of South America. ...
Ice cliffs spotted on Mars
Science News | 2018 Jan 11
Exposed subsurface ice sheets in the Martian mid-latitudes - Colin M. Dundas et al
- Science 359(6372):199 (12 Jan 2018) DOI: 10.1126/science.aao1619