According to the data provided by NASA’s Mars Rover, Curiosity, Mars has liquid water just below its surface.
The study, which was conducted by the researchers from the University of Copenhagen, and published in the Nature journal, states that it is possible that there is liquid water close to the surface of Mars.
According to the researchers, the substance perchlorate has been found in the soil, which lowers the freezing point so the water does not freeze into ice, but is liquid and present in very salty salt water that’s is known as a brine.
Morten Bo Madsen, associate professor and head of the Mars Group at the Niels Bohr Institute at the University of Copenhagen, and the lead author of the study, said, “We have discovered the substance calcium perchlorate in the soil and, under the right conditions, it absorbs water vapor from the atmosphere. Our measurements from the Curiosity rover’s weather monitoring station show that these conditions exist at night and just after sunrise in the winter. Based on measurements of humidity and the temperature at a height of 1.6 meters and at the surface of the planet, we can estimate the amount of water that is absorbed.”
Madsen further explained, “When night falls, some of the water vapor in the atmosphere condenses on the planet surface as frost, but calcium perchlorate is very absorbent and it forms brine with the water, so the freezing point is lowered and the frost can turn into a liquid. The soil is porous, so what we are seeing is that the water seeps down through the soil. Over time, other salts may also dissolve in the soil and now that they are liquid, they can move and precipitate elsewhere under the surface.”
The researchers stated that the water would be present in tiny quantities between the grains of soil, rather than in droplet form. If anyone digs a trench then they might see that the soil at the base was a bit darker.
The researchers added that these kinds of deposits are formed when large amounts of water flow down the slopes of the crater and these streams of water meet the stagnant water in the form of a lake.