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Three Craters With Ice (97 MB MOV)

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Three Martian Craters: Actual Surface (left), Without Debris (right)

This computer graphic image shows three craters in the eastern Hellas region of Mars containing concealed glaciers detected by radar. On the left is how the surface looks today, on the right is an artist's concept showing what the ice may look like underneath. The image was created using image data from the Context Camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) spacecraft combined with results from the SHARAD radar sounder on MRO and HRSC digital elevation map from the Mars Express spacecraft. The color of the Martian surface and ice was estimated from MRO HiRISE color images of other Martian craters and the polar ice caps. The buried ice in these craters as measured by SHARAD is ~ 250 meter thick on the upper crater and ~ 300 and 450 meters on the middle and lower levels respectively. Each image is 20 km (12.8 mi.) across and extends to 50 km (32 mi) in the distance.  Recent measurements from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter SHARAD radar sounder have detected large amounts of water ice in such deposits over widespread areas, arguing for the flow of glacial-like structures on Mars in the relatively recent geologic past. This suggests that snow and ice accumulated on higher topography, flowed downhill and is now protected from sublimation by a layer of rock debris and dust. Furrows and ridges on the surface were caused by deforming ice.  Caption Credit: NASA/Caltech/JPL/UTA/UA/MSSS/ESA/DLR Eric M. De Jong, Ali Safaeinili, Jason Craig, Mike Stetson, Koji Kuramura, John W. Holt

Martian Mountain With Lobate Deposit Similar to Those with Confirmed Glaciers

 

Location of Newly Discovered Martian Glaciers

Fig. 1. (A) Topography of Mars. Major features are identified, and latitude bands exhibiting lobate debris aprons (LDAs) and lineated valley fill are highlighted (1, 2). The location of our study area along the eastern rim of the Hellas impact basin is also denoted. (B) Topography of study area, with MRO/SHARAD ground tracks shown for orbits 6830 (a-a´), 7219 (b-b´), and 3672 (c-c´). LDAs crossed by these tracks are labeled.

Analogous Formations on Earth: Rock-covered Glaciers in Antarctica

Radar on Mars Orbiter Reveals Debris-Covered Martian Glacier

Portion of a large rock-covered flow feature in the eastern Hellas region of Mars. Recent measurements from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter SHARAD radar sounder have detected large amounts of water ice in this deposit, arguing for the flow of glacial-like structures on Mars in the relatively recent geologic past. This suggests that snow and ice accumulated on the slope face and flowed over the neighboring plains and is now protected from sublimation by a layer of rock debris and dust. Dashed line shows path of spacecraft and inset shows resulting radar reflections. Over the glacier, there are two reflections: one from the sloping surface and one from the subsurface below the ice. Image is 20 km (12.8 mi.) by 50 km (32 mi.). From the Context Camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Concealed Mars Glacier in Hellas Region

Perspective view of a mountain in the eastern Hellas region of Mars surrounded by a lobate deposit with flow textures on the surface. Recent measurements from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter SHARAD radar sounder have detected large amounts of water ice in similar deposits, arguing for the flow of glacial-like structures on Mars in the relatively recent geologic past. This suggests that snow and ice accumulated on the slope face and flowed viscously over the neighboring plains and is now protected from sublimation by a layer of rock debris and dust. Image is 31 km (20 miles) across. Topographic data shown here was acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the Mars Express spacecraft and is courtesy of ESA/DLR/FU Berlin.

 

Concealed Mars Glacier in Hellas Region

Perspective view of a mountain in the eastern Hellas region of Mars surrounded by a lobate deposit with flow textures on the surface. Recent measurements from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter SHARAD radar sounder have detected large amounts of water ice in similar deposits, arguing for the flow of glacial-like structures on Mars in the relatively recent geologic past. This suggests that snow and ice accumulated on the slope face and flowed viscously over the neighboring plains and is now protected from sublimation by a layer of rock debris and dust. Image is 36 km (23 miles) across. Topographic data shown here was acquired by the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on the Mars Express spacecraft and is courtesy of ESA/DLR/FU Berlin.