Mars: Retention of Ice

Science  22 Mar 1968:
Vol. 159, Issue 3821, pp. 1348-1350
DOI: 10.1126/science.159.3821.1348


Water in the form of ice can exist on Mars as permafrost that is either in equilibrium with the water content of the atmosphere or gradually evaporating through a protective layer of soil. The latter situation is evaluated quantitatively, and the required thicknesses of the protective layers are estimated. The presence of subsurface ice may explain the higher radar reflectivity of the dark areas than of the bright areas. Observation of its seasonal variations is suggested.