Water Beneath the South Polar Ice Cap of Mars

The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument has detected liquid water beneath the Mars South Polar Ice Cap. This data supports the presence of basal water beneath Ultimi Scopuli and suggest. If we bring surface topography instruments to Mars we could get radar confirmation other potential subglacial water bodies and confirm this…
Water Beneath the South Polar Ice Cap of Mars


The Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding instrument has detected liquid water beneath the Mars South Polar Ice Cap. This data supports the presence of basal water beneath Ultimi Scopuli and suggest. If we bring surface topography instruments to Mars we could get radar confirmation other potential subglacial water bodies and confirm this reading.

Their analysis revealed a 10-15 kilometer-long surface undulation comprising a depression and a corresponding raised area, both of which deviate from the surrounding ice surface by several meters. This is similar in scale to undulations over subglacial lakes here on Earth.

Above – The left-hand panel shows the surface topography of Mars’s south pole, with the outline of the south polar cap in black. The light blue line shows the area used in the modeling experiments, and the green square shows the region containing the inferred subglacial water. The ice in the region is around 1500 m thick. The right-hand panel shows the surface undulation identified by the Cambridge-led research team. It is visible as the red area, which is elevated by 5-8 m above the regional topography, with a smaller depression (2-4 m below the regional topography) upstream (towards the top right of the image). The black outline shows the area of water as inferred by the orbiting radar. Credit: University of Cambridge

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