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An unusual pond at the base of the Transantarctic Mountains could reveal what water looks like on Mars.
Don Juan Pond is said to be one of the saltiest bodies of water on Earth, with a ‘syrupy brine’ made up of calcium chloride.
Scientists - Moisture - Valley - Slopes - Study
While scientists have previously hypothesized that it is fed by moisture trickling down from the surrounding valley slopes, a new study suggests it may instead be fueled by a groundwater system deep beneath the surface.
As features similar to those observed above Don Juan Pond have been observed on Mars’ steep slopes, the experts say the red planet may also be home to a groundwater system.
Salty - Water - Don - Juan - Pond
The salty water of Don Juan Pond can remain liquid up to -50 degrees Celsius, as the briny mixture lowers its freezing point, the researchers say.
It measures roughly 100 by 300 meters, and is about 10 centimetres (4 inches) deep on average.
Juan - Pond - Ponds - Earth - Author
‘Don Juan Pond is probably one of the most interesting ponds on Earth,’ said lead author Jonathan Toner, a University of Washington research assistant professor in Earth and Space sciences.
In the new study, the researcher created a model to show how the salty water changes across different conditions, including evaporation, freezing, and with different levels water and salt inputs.
He then simulated two situations.
In one, the water was coming from beneath, while the other...
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