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      Radar evidence of subglacial liquid water on Mars

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          Abstract

          The presence of liquid water at the base of the Martian polar caps has long been suspected but not observed. We surveyed the Planum Australe region using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding, a low-frequency radar on the Mars Express spacecraft. Radar profiles collected between May 2012 and December 2015, contain evidence of liquid water trapped below the ice of the South Polar Layered Deposits. Anomalously bright subsurface reflections were found within a well-defined, 20km wide zone centered at 193{\deg}E, 81{\deg}S, surrounded by much less reflective areas. Quantitative analysis of the radar signals shows that this bright feature has high dielectric permittivity >15, matching water-bearing materials. We interpret this feature as a stable body of liquid water on Mars.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          09 April 2020
          Article
          10.1126/science.aar7268
          2004.04587

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

          Custom metadata
          Science 361, 490 (2018)
          27 pages, 10 figures
          astro-ph.EP

          Planetary astrophysics

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