Martian hydrogeology sustained by thermally insulating gas and salt hydrates

Jeffrey S. Kargel, Roberto Furfaro, Olga Prieto-Ballesteros, J. Alexis P. Rodriguez, David R. Montgomery, Alan R. Gillespie, Giles M. Marion, Stephen E. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Numerical simulations and geologic studies suggest that high thermal anomalies beneath, within, and above thermally insulating layers of buried hydrated salts and gas hydrates could have triggered and sustained hydrologic processes on Mars, producing or modifying chaotic terrains, debris flows, gullies, and ice-creep features. These simulations and geologic examples suggest that thick hydrate deposits may sustain such geothermal anomalies, shallow groundwater tables, and hydrogeologic activity for eons. The proposed mechanism may operate and be self-reinforcing even in today's cold Martian climate without elevated heat flux.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-978
Number of pages4
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2007


  • Aram Chaos
  • Clathrate hydrates
  • Heat flow
  • Hydrous sulfates
  • Mars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology


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