Multiple subglacial water bodies below the south pole of Mars unveiled by new MARSIS data

Article


Lauro, Sebastian Emanuel, Pettinelli, Elena, Caprarelli, Graziella, Guallini, Luca, Rossi, Angelo Pio, Mattei, Elisabetta, Cosciotti, Barbara, Cicchetti, Andrea, Soldovieri, Francesco, Cartacci, Marco, Di Paolo, Federico, Noschese, Raffaella and Orosei, Roberto. 2021. "Multiple subglacial water bodies below the south pole of Mars unveiled by new MARSIS data." Nature Astronomy. 5, pp. 63-70. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-020-1200-6
Article Title

Multiple subglacial water bodies below the south pole of Mars unveiled by new MARSIS data

ERA Journal ID213748
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsLauro, Sebastian Emanuel (Author), Pettinelli, Elena (Author), Caprarelli, Graziella (Author), Guallini, Luca (Author), Rossi, Angelo Pio (Author), Mattei, Elisabetta (Author), Cosciotti, Barbara (Author), Cicchetti, Andrea (Author), Soldovieri, Francesco (Author), Cartacci, Marco (Author), Di Paolo, Federico (Author), Noschese, Raffaella (Author) and Orosei, Roberto (Author)
Journal TitleNature Astronomy
Journal Citation5, pp. 63-70
Number of Pages8
Year2021
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN2397-3366
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1038/s41550-020-1200-6
Web Address (URL)https://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-020-1200-6
Abstract

The detection of liquid water by the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding (MARSIS) at the base of the south polar layered deposits in Ultimi Scopuli has reinvigorated the debate about the origin and stability of liquid water under present-day Martian conditions. To establish the extent of subglacial water in this region, we acquired new data, achieving extended radar coverage over the study area. Here, we present and discuss the results obtained by a new method of analysis of the complete MARSIS dataset, based on signal processing procedures usually applied to terrestrial polar ice sheets. Our results strengthen the claim of the detection of a liquid water body at Ultimi Scopuli and indicate the presence of other wet areas nearby. We suggest that the waters are hypersaline perchlorate brines, known to form at Martian polar regions and thought to survive for an extended period of time on a geological scale at below-eutectic temperatures.

KeywordsDeposits promethei lingula, liquid water, ice-sheet, aqueous-solutions, radar evidence, perchlorate, brines, beneath, deliquescence, stratigraphy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020510199. Astronomical sciences not elsewhere classified
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Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Byline AffiliationsRoma Tre University, Italy
University of Southern Queensland
National Institute for Astrophysics, Italy
Jacobs University Bremen, Germany
National Research Council, Italy
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