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Water resources and hydrology of MarsThe surface of Mars has been extensively modified by a large variety of water erosional and depositional processes. Although liquid water is presently unstable on the planet's surface, in its cold, hyperarid climate, there is abundant geomorphological evidence of past fluvial valley development multiple episodes of catastrophic flooding, periglacial landforms, ice-related permafrost, lake deposits, eroded impact craters and possible glacial landforms throughout much of Mars' geological history. The amount of water required to form such features is estimated to be equivalent to a planet-wide layer approximately 50 meters deep. Some of this water undoubtedly was removed from the planet by atmospheric escape processes, but much probably remains in the subsurface of Mars. Jakosky summarized the present partitioning of water on Mars, expressed as an average global depth, as follows: in the polar caps, 30 meters; in the megaregolith, 500 to 1000 meters; structurally bound in clays, 10 meters; and in high latitude regolith, a few meters. However, most of this water is probably in the form of ice, except in anomalous areas of possible near surface liquid water, and in regions where hydrothermal systems are still active. The best locations for prospecting are those areas where water or ice is sufficiently concentrated at shallow enough depths to make it feasible to pump out or mine.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Baker, V. R.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Gulick, V. C.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Kargel, J. S.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Strom, R. G.
(Arizona Univ. Tucson, AZ, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1991
Publication Information
Publication: Resources of Near-Earth Space: Abstracts
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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