Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Mars Exploration News .




MARSDAILY
Mars has belts of glaciers consisting of frozen water
by Staff Writers
Copenhagen, Denmark (SPX) Apr 12, 2015


illustration only

Mars has distinct polar ice caps, but Mars also has belts of glaciers at its central latitudes in both the southern and northern hemispheres. A thick layer of dust covers the glaciers, so they appear as surface of the ground, but radar measurements show that underneath the dust there are glaciers composed of frozen water.

New studies have now calculated the size of the glaciers and thus the amount of water in the glaciers. It is the equivalent of all of Mars being covered by more than one meter of ice. The results are published in the scientific journal, Geophysical Research Letter.

Several satellites orbit Mars and on satellite images, researchers have been able to observe the shape of glaciers just below the surface. For a long time scientists did not know if the ice was made of frozen water (H2O) or of carbon dioxide (CO2) or whether it was mud.

Using radar measurements from the NASA satellite, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, researchers have been able to determine that it is water ice. But how thick is the ice and do the glaciers resemble glaciers on Earth? A group of researchers at the Niels Bohr Institute have now calculated this using radar observations combined with ice flow modelling.

Data combined with modelling
"We have looked at radar measurements spanning ten years back in time to see how thick the ice is and how it behaves. A glacier is after all a big chunk of ice and it flows and gets a form that tells us something about how soft it is. We then compared this with how glaciers on Earth behave and from that we have been able to make models for the ice flow," explains Nanna Bjornholt Karlsson, a postdoc at the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen.

Nanna Bjornholt Karlsson explains that earlier studies have identified thousands of glacier-like formations on the planet. The glaciers are located in belts around Mars between the latitudes 300-500 - equivalent to just south of Denmark's location on Earth. The glaiciers are found on both the northern and southern hemispheres.

From some locations on Mars they have good detailed high-resolution data, while they only have more sparse data from other areas. But by supplementing the sparse data with information about the flow and form of the glaciers from the very well studied areas, they have been able to calculate how thick and voluminous the ice is across the glacier belts.

Could cover the entire planet
"We have calculated that the ice in the glaciers is equivalent to over 150 billion cubic meters of ice - that much ice could cover the entire surface of Mars with 1.1 meters of ice. The ice at the mid-latitudes is therefore an important part of Mars' water reservoir," explains Nanna Bjornholt Karlsson.

That the ice has not evaporated out into space could actually mean that the thick layer of dust is protecting the ice. The atmospheric pressure on Mars is so low that water ice simply evaporates and becomes water vapour. But the glaciers are well protected under the thick layer of dust.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
University of Copenhagen - Niels Bohr Institute
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MARSDAILY
Mars' dust-covered glacial belts may contain tons of water
Copenhagen, Denmark (UPI) Apr 9, 2015
New research shows Mars' buried glaciers contain enough ice to cover the entire planet with a coat three feet thick. The evidence also proves the dust-covered glacial belts to contain frozen water, not carbon dioxide. Previous satellite images have suggested the presence of hefty glacial bands spanning the planet's northern and southern hemispheres just beneath the Martian surface. But ... read more


MARSDAILY
Moon formed when young Earth and little sister collided

Will the moon's first inhabitants live in giant lava tubes?

Soft Landing on the Moon an Extraordinary Challenge

Stop blaming the moon

MARSDAILY
Chinese scientists mull power station in space

China completes second test on new carrier rocket's power system

China's Yutu rover reveals Moon's "complex" geological history

China's Space Laboratory Still Cloaked

MARSDAILY
Special 3-D Delivery From Space to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA Extends Lockheed Martin Contract To Prepare Critical Cargo For ISS

NASA drives future discoveries with new ISS information system

Cosmonauts Take Tablet Computer Into Space

MARSDAILY
NASA Extends Campaign for Public to Name Features on Pluto

New Horizons Sampling 'Space Weather' on Approach to Pluto

Help Name New Features on Pluto

Name the features on Pluto and its moon Charon

MARSDAILY
Saturn Spacecraft Returns to the Realm of Icy Moons

A new spin on Saturn's peculiar rotation

Titan's Atmosphere Created As Gases Escaped Core

Researchers study methane-rich plumes from Saturn's icy moon Enceladus

MARSDAILY
Scientists Take Aim at Four Corners Methane Mystery

NASA Joins Forces to Put Satellite Eyes on Threat to U.S. Freshwater

Picturing peanut contamination with near infrared hyperspectral imaging

Study maps development one county at a time

MARSDAILY
How To Train Your Astronauts

Plants Use Sixth Sense for Growth Aboard the Space Station

Air Scrubber Plus Brings Space Age Technology Down To Earth

NASA Announces New Partnerships with Industry for Deep-Space Skills

MARSDAILY
The Solar System and Beyond is Awash in Water

Earthlike 'Star Wars' Tatooines may be common

Planets in the habitable zone around most stars, calculate researchers

Our Solar System May Have Once Harbored Super-Earths




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.