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Gamma Ray Spectrometer - 2001 Mars Odyssey - Lunar and Planetary Lab - The University of Arizona

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January 2008: Hydrogen Map
January 2008: Silicon Map
January 2008: Iron Map
January 2008: Chlorine Map
January 2008: Potassium Map
January 2008: Thorium Map
March 2006: Hydrogen Map
March 2006: Silicon Map
March 2006: Iron Map
March 2006: Chlorine Map
March 2006: Potassium Map
March 2006: Thorium Map
July 2004: Global Map of Martian Hydrogen
July 2004: Map of Martian Hydrogen at the North Pole
July 2004: Potassium and Thorium Tell an Interesting Story
July 2004: Watch and Listen to Seasonal Changes in Martian Polar Ice

July, 2004: Map of Martian Hydrogen at the North Pole

This gamma ray spectrometer map centered on the north pole of Mars is based on gamma rays from the element hydrogen. In this region, hydrogen is mainly in the form of water ice. Regions of high ice content are shown in violet and blue and those low in ice content are shown in red. The very ice-rich region at the north pole is due to a permanent polar cap of water ice on the surface. Elsewhere in this region, the ice is buried under several to a few tens of centimeters of dry soil. The sub-surface ice is not uniformly distributed in the north, but varies with both latitude and longitude. In the north, the soil is well over 50 percent ice, which is more than can be accommodated by just filling the pore space in pre-existing soil. This high ice content implies that the ice may have been slowly co-deposited with dust in the past when conditions were wetter. Deposition of ice by this process means it is more likely that the ice deposits are very thick and may even be deep enough to have liquid water at their base.


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