There is more evidence that there is liquid water underneath the ice cap at the southern pole of Mars.

Liquid water may be underneath the ice cap on the south pole of Mars according to the findings of the European Mars Express. Some scientists weren't sure at that time. Mars is very cold and has to have a source of heat in order for subglacial water to exist. At the time of the Mars Express discovery, some scientists thought that the strange radar signal may have been caused by dry material below the ice caps.

An international team of scientists led by researchers from the University of Cambridge concluded that the presence of liquid water is the most likely explanation for the ice-sheet covered region.

China's rover suggests that water may have been on Mars a long time ago.

Using NASA's Mars Global Surveyor satellite to map the upper surface of the ice cap, the researchers detected subtle patterns of height differences that match computer model predictions for how a body of water beneath the ice cap would affect its surface

Neil Arnold, a professor of geography at Cambridge University, said in a statement that it is more likely that there is at least one area of subglacial liquid water on Mars today.

The thick water ice caps on Mars are similar to the ones on Earth. The Red Planet's ice caps were frozen all the way down to their base because of the planet's cold climate. The shape of the Martian ice caps was chosen as an independent line of evidence because scientists have observed that the shape of an overlying ice sheet is influenced by the body of water beneath it.

Under the influence of gravity, the water in subglacial lakes lowers thefriction between the ice sheet and its bed, which allows the ice to flow faster. A dip in the ice sheet's surface follows a rise in the ice surface further down the ice flow.

The team found surface undulation from the same area where Mars Express made its radar measurement.

The feature consisted of a depression in the ice surface followed by a raised area that deviated from the surrounding ice cap area. The scale and shape are similar to the undulations in ice sheets above subglacial lakes.

Simulations of ice flow adapted to specific conditions on Mars were used to determine if the surface undulation of the Martian ice cap was the result of subglacial water.

The water in the patch of reduced bedfriction would allow the ice to flow faster. They adjusted the amount of heat in the simulation.

The computer-modeled ice surface was similar in size and shape to the southern polar ice cap on Mars.

The team believes that the heat needed to account for the subglacial water may come from magmatic activity that has recently occurred in the Mars region.

"Mars needs to be active in order to keep the water under the ice cap liquid," Arnold said. The quality of data coming back from Mars, from satellites as well as the landers, is so good that we can use it to answer difficult questions about conditions on the planet.

It's great to use these techniques to find out about other planets.

The team's research is in a journal.

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