Discovering liquid water buried underground is essential for understanding the evolution of Mars.
These lakes may remain liquid because of extremely high concentrations of toxic perchlorate salts. Proving that there is liquid water on Mars would be momentous because it raises the possibility of life surviving on the planet.
Liquid exchange was a major motivation for sending the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding MARSISwhich has been orbiting onboard the Mars Express spacecraft sincebombarding the surface with radar pulses and collecting the reflections. Italian research groups have vast experience in radar development, signal processing and applied electromagnetics, Pettinelli explains.
Similar radio echo sounding methods are used on Earth to search for liquid water beneath Antarctica and Greenland, although the challenges are very different.
Nevertheless, we can still use some methodologies applied on Earth to discriminate between wet and dry subglacial areas, based on the features of the reflected signal.
Rome; R. They also discovered several smaller patches of water nearby.
Pettinelli notes that extremely salty subglacial lakes, at very cold temperatures, were recently discovered in the Canadian Arctic.