Martian ice caves


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Publication Date

January 2000


Ice in Martian lava tube caves would have scientific and developmental value. These natural channels in rock may hold keys to Mars' past as well as potential resources for humanity's futures. Terrestrial lava tube caves are natural receptacles for accumulations of water. Often, due to lower temperatures coupled with the superior insulation properties of the surrounding rock, these accumulations are in the form of ice. Historically, ice was mined from some lava tube caves. Many of the lava tubes in the Central Oregon area sport such names as "Arnolds Ice Cave," "Surveyors Ice Cave," "South Ice Cave," etc. These caves are not caves in ice, but rather common lava tubes with seasonal, and sometimes perennial ice deposits. Locating and cataloging similar features on Mars, could be of value for the colonization of Mars and the search for life. Such features may also prove useful in helping to determine past climatic conditions on the Red Planet.


Mars (Planet), Caves, Ice, Planetary Geology, Mars Surface, Water, Lunar And Planetary Exploration

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