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Fwd = Plenty of Water on Mars

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) URL: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-water-science-01l.html Original Date: Tue, 4 Sep
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2001
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      Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
      URL: http://www.spacedaily.com/news/mars-water-science-01l.html
      Original Date: Tue, 4 Sep 2001 07:17:28 -0700

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      Plenty of Water on Mars

      Splash marks on Mars? UCF researcher says they show there is water and
      ice on the red planet.

      by Susan Loden
      Orlando - August 31, 2001

      When we make it to Mars, there's an excellent chance that we will find
      a vast, easy-access watering hole to help sustain life on the Red
      Planet.

      This ice-crusted reservoir was found by Nadine Barlow, director of
      UCF's Robinson Observatory, and her partners John Koroshetz, a former
      UCF physics undergraduate student, and James Dohm, a research
      associate with the University of Arizona's Department of Hydrology and
      Water Resources.

      Barlow's use of impact craters to identify a near-surface ice
      reservoir south of the big canyon system Valles Marineris on Mars is
      outlined in the Aug. 15 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

      "This ice is closer to the surface in the Solis Planum area than ice
      elsewhere in the equatorial region and our analysis also suggests that
      an extensive liquid water reservoir underlies this shallow ice
      deposit" Barlow says.

      "We believe that nearby, long-term volcanic activity has concentrated
      the volatiles in this region, due to various episodes of uplifting and
      tilting of the groundwater table. Heating associated with the
      volcanism has also kept the water liquid for longer time periods,"

      The team poured over Mars surface images from two 1970s-era Viking
      Orbiters, taking a closer look at the smooth plains of Solis Planum
      which is pocked with craters formed by meteorite impact. They
      evaluated crater shapes and the ejecta deposits thrown from the
      craters when they were created.

      The locations and diameters of hundreds of craters were evaluated,
      mapped and cataloged. Excavation depths of the craters were obtained
      from the crater diameters using relationships derived from the laser
      altimeter data taken by the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) spacecraft,
      which has been orbiting Mars since 1997. More analysis of this area is
      continuing with the MGS Mars Orbiter Camera data.

      The character of craters and deposits is believed to indicate what
      might be beneath the surface. In particular, the fluidized appearance
      of ejecta deposits surrounding fresh impact craters on Mars is
      commonly believed to indicate impact into subsurface ice and or water.

      Barlow believes ice and water are just below the surface in the Solis
      and Thaumasia Planae region. The tip-off is smaller than average
      onset- diameters for single-layer craters, strongly suggesting a
      supply of ice about 360 feet from the surface there, compared to
      approximately 650 feet elsewhere in the equatorial region.

      SPACE.WIRE

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