The Martian South Pole. A new study argues there needs to be an underground source of heat for liquid water to exist underneath the polar ice cap. Image: NASA
Possible vulcanic activity under the surface of Mars - space short science news

While a recent study had reported the presence of liquid water under the icecap of the Martian southpole, it is still unknown how water could from there in such a cold environment.

A new modeling study suggests that high salt concentrations (necessary to lower the freezing point of water) cannot explain the presence of the liquid water. Local temperature should therefore be higher under the icecap, and scientists think that this is because of underground volcanic activity.

This should heat up the crust enough to melt the ice under the iceshheet of the Martian southpole. More research is needed to confirm this theory, however.

Read the full story: American Geophysical Union
Scientific publication: Geophysical Research Letters