Scientists first found evidence of glaciers on mars in 2008, and in 2014 a team of scientists from the Freie Universitaet Berlin and Bryn Mawr College discovered evidence of mineralogical in the Valles Marineris, a region from Mars.
Now, a new study that was published in the Geophysical Research Letters revealed the size of the Mars glaciers.
According to the scientists involved in the study, they have managed to calculate the amount of water that exists in these glaciers.
These mountains of ice are located at the central latitudes in the northern and southern hemispheres of the Red Planet.
The scientists used a special technique that combines radar observations with ice flow modeling and were able to find that the glaciers contain approximately 150 billion cubic meters of ice, which is the equivalent of a 1,1 m layer of ice that could cover surface of Mars.
The amount of ice found on Mars would represent only a small fraction, about 5 %, of the ice found on Greenland.
The researchers were helped by a project made last year by scientists from the University of Texas.
They managed to map the Mars glaciers and then they were able to study the radar data collected from different areas, which helped them make an estimation on how thick the ice is.
Nanna Bjørnholt Karlsson, researcher for the Centre for Ice and Climate at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen and a one of the authors of the new study, explained that the scientists have looked at the radar measurements form ten years ago to see how thick the ice has become and how it behaves.
The news study was based on earlier discoveries that used radar measurements taken by the NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in order to identify the glaciers’ shapes below Mars’ surface.
Thanks to previous research, the scientists were able to determine that glaciers found on Mars actually contain frozen water. Before this, some scientists believed that the Mars glaciers were actually made of mud, carbon dioxide or ice water.
Knowing that the Mars glaciers are made of ice will help scientists better understand the role of water on the Red Planet.
Finding water on Mars is one of the most important discoveries since the scientists began exploring it, because where there’s water, there could also be forms of life.
Image Source: discovermagazine