CO2 Snow Depth and Subsurface Water-Ice Abundance in the Northern Hemisphere of Mars

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Science  27 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5628, pp. 2081-2084
DOI: 10.1126/science.1084350

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Observations of seasonal variations of neutron flux from the high-energy neutron detector (HEND) on Mars Odyssey combined with direct measurements of the thickness of condensed carbon dioxide by the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) on Mars Global Surveyor show a latitudinal dependence of northern winter deposition of carbon dioxide. The observations are also consistent with a shallow substrate consisting of a layer with water ice overlain by a layer of drier soil. The lower ice-rich layer contains between 50 and 75 weight % water, indicating that the shallow subsurface at northern polar latitudes on Mars is even more water rich than that in the south.

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