Evidence of water found beneath Mars’ surface

LOS ANGELES — The face of Mars is dotted with a maze of channels, pointing to possible ancient megafloods.

Now scientists peering below the surface have uncovered the first evidence of underground channels apparently created by flooding, a finding that is expected to further illuminate the role of water in Mars’s history.


Using a ground-piercing radar sensor aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, a team of scientists created three-dimensional maps of an equatorial region known as Elysium Planitia and the channels beneath the plains.

Besides the contributions from rovers and landers, ‘‘our view of the red planet has largely been restricted to looking at the surface’’ from orbiting spacecraft, said lead researcher Gareth Morgan, a planetary scientist at the Smithsonian Institution.

Get Ground Game in your inbox:
Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, offers a new perspective below the Martian surface and hints of past flooding at a time when the planet was mostly thought to be cold and desertlike.


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of