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The thermodynamic case for a water-rich MarsThe geologic evidence for a water-rich Mars has been reviewed, and it has been concluded that it is consistent with an outgassed inventory of H2O equivalent to global ocean 0.5-1 km deep. The most persuasive support for this conclusion comes from the martian outflow channels, whose distribution, size, and range of ages, suggests that a significant body of ground water was present on Mars throughout much of its geologic history. In this abstract, the thermodynamic implications of the outflow channels are considered. The results of this analysis suggest that if the outflow channels were carved by the discharge of ground water in diffusive and thermodynamic equilibrium with the overlying frozen crust, it implies a minimum planetary inventory of water in excess of 300 m. However, if the global inventory of ground water on Mars at the time of outflow channel formation was as high as the 500 m estimate of other researchers, then the total inventory of water on Mars could well exceed 750 m.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clifford, Stephen M.
(Lunar and Planetary Inst. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1993
Publication Information
Publication: Twenty-fourth Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Part 1: A-F
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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