Distribution of hydrogen in the near surface of Mars: Evidence for subsurface ice deposits

W. V. Boynton, W. C. Feldman, S. W. Squyres, T. H. Prettyman, J. Brückner, L. G. Evans, R. C. Reedy, R. Starr, J. R. Arnold, D. M. Drake, P. A.J. Englert, A. E. Metzger, Igor Mitrofanov, J. I. Trombka, C. D'Uston, H. Wänke, O. Gasnault, D. K. Hamara, D. M. Janes, R. L. MarcialisS. Maurice, I. Mikheeva, G. J. Taylor, R. Tokar, C. Shinohara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

748 Scopus citations


Using the Gamma-Ray Spectrometer on the Mars Odyssey, we have identified two regions near the poles that are enriched in hydrogen. The data indicate the presence of a subsurface layer enriched in hydrogen overlain by a hydrogen-poor layer. The thickness of the upper layer decreases with decreasing distance to the pole, ranging from a column density of about 150 grams per square centimeter at -42° latitude to about 40 grams per square centimeter at -77°. The hydrogen-rich regions correlate with regions of predicted ice stability. We suggest that the host of the hydrogen in the subsurface layer is ice, which constitutes 35 ± 15% of the layer by weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-85
Number of pages5
Issue number5578
StatePublished - Jul 5 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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