Water On Mars – The Red Planet Lost Much Of It, But There Might Still Be Underground Water


There has been plenty of debates regarding the water that once existed on Mars. However, many questions remain unsolved. One of the biggest ones is “Where did the water on Mars go?”. There are plenty of answers to this question, and we have selected some of them given by experts.

Where is the water of Mars?

“So where did the water go? Some of it was lost to space (Mars doesn’t have a magnetic field to protect it from solar wind), some of the water reacted with volcanic rocks and then got trapped in minerals, and some of the water is still there today, frozen into the ice caps and in permafrost layers below the ground.”

According to Kirsten Siebach who is Assistant Professor, Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences, at the Rice University, some of the water went to space, and there is also water in minerals, as well as frozen water. At the moment the low atmospheric pressure makes liquid water unstable on Mars.

“Mars has changed significantly in the 4.6 billion years since its formation. About 3.8 billion years ago, Mars was much more Earth-like, with volcanism, a magnetic field, water on the surface and a thick atmosphere—at a time when life was starting on Earth,” Siebach said.

Mars might still possess underground water

Andres Coates is a Professor of Physics and Deputy Director (Solar System) at Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London. He believes the planet had the potential to sustain life 3.8 billion years ago when Mars was more similar to Earth.

“In total, the evidence (in the current atmosphere) appears to suggest that Mars lost 10% to 30% of the water it had 4 billion years ago. Of the remaining 70% to 90% of its water inventory, no more than 5%-10% of that water has been found in the polar caps. The remaining water, perhaps as much as 90% of the water Mars started with, is in underground reservoirs.”

Davis Weintraub is a professor of astronomy at Vanderbilt University. He believes that most of the water on Mars was lost.


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