Jump to content

Underground Lake of Liquid Water Detected on Mars

Recommended Posts



Just a mile or so beneath the surface, near the south pole of Mars, there is a reservoir of briny water sloshing and churning below layers of ice and rock.


This subglacial lake, discovered by a ground-penetrating radar on the Mars Express spacecraft, is about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) wide and perhaps no more than a meter deep. Its discovery is the latest piece of evidence that suggests water was not only present on Mars in the past but is still flowing in some capacity today. The findings, if confirmed by future observations, would be the most significant discovery of liquid water on Mars to date.


The most intriguing possibility is that this Martian lake is not alone, but rather part of an extensive network expanding across the south polar region of Mars. “Data provide some hints that this single lake is not a unique finding," Orosei says. "We do see bright spots in other areas." MARSIS, however, does not have the technological capability to look for channels or rivers connecting a system of lakes.


But before we envision such a thing, follow-up observations must confirm that this one lake really does exist. Because for all the exciting data that has been obtained by MARSIS, there is one major problem: Another radar orbiting Mars, the Shallow Radar (SHARAD) on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), has not been able to detect the underground reservoir at all.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...