Send the colony ships now

BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Huge ice deposits ‘seen’ on Mars

The ice is found in distinctive geological structures on Mars’ surface that are hundreds of metres thick.
Mission scientists used Sharad to probe Martian surface features known as lobate debris aprons (LDAs). These distinctive, dome-shaped structures are concentrated around mid-latitudes in the planet’s northern and southern hemispheres. Geological clues The researchers looked at LDAs in the Deuteronilus Mensae region of Mars’ northern hemisphere, where the features can be found at the bases of valley walls, craters and scarps of mesas. Scientists have long suspected that LDAs were flows consisting of mixed up rock and ice. The radar penetrated these geological features with very little attenuation (reduction in signal strength), suggesting they were predominantly made of ice. “We would say, robustly, more than 50% ice by volume – but it could be much more,” said Jeff Plaut, the chief scientist for Sharad.

A quick look at some of the pictures suggests that we’re talking about flows a few kilometers across. At 50% ice that would be more than a cubic kilometer of water per flow. That’s a billion tons of water, aka somewhere north of 200 billion gallons. You could support Las Vegas for days with that kind of water.


One Response to “Send the colony ships now”

  1. Dickie Branson Says:

    Hold the colonists! You could sustain a forest of 100 million trees with that water. Imagine the carbon offset potential!

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