Hidden Reservoirs of Water-Ice On Mars
Recently, along with a few coauthors, I used the Martian gravity and topography data to find the density of the north polar cap of Mars (pictured above). The north polar cap of Mars consists of thick sheets of extremely pure ice called the north polar layered deposits (white unit in the image above) and the sand-rich basal unit. Radar data has been able to provide information on the composition of the north polar layered deposits, however, the composition of the basal unit is not entirely clear. In this study, I used gravity data of Mars to estimate the density of the basal unit. We found relatively low density for the BU which suggests that it may contain more than 50 % ice. Thus, our study suggests that the basal unit may one of the largest sources of water ice on Mars. Paper coming out soon.