Ice in the northern plains of Mars

Localization of the studied regions in the northern plains of Mars
Image Credit: ISSI Proposal by Matt Balme (Open University)

News from Sep 27, 2018

The northern plains of Mars comprise several basins filled by sediments. The region has been proposed to have hosted an ancient ocean and currently contains ice in the ground. It is not known, however, what is the origin of the ice, whether it is related to the ancient ocean or, recent glaciations. Improving the geological context of the northern plains by mapping helped constrain outstanding questions about evolution of the climate and geology on Mars.

An International Space Science Institute (ISSI) team project, involving researchers with expertise in planetary mapping from several European institutions, including Csilla Orgel from Freie Universität Berlin, has been convened to study targeted areas (Utopia, Acidalia, Arcadia Planitiae) in the northern plains of Mars. Their results have been published recently in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.