Eroded banks throughout Mars's mid-latitudes reveal underground bands of bluish material. Spectra of these layers—which start three to six feet beneath the surface—strongly suggest that they are made of water ice. PHOTOGRAPH BY NASA, JPL-CALTECH, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

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New NASA Images Show Huge Water Reserves All Over Mars

This could be a potential benefit for future humans on the planet.

Scientists have found layers of water ice buried just a few feet below Mars’s surface. The discovery adds a crucial detail to Mars geologic history and it may shape how future humans on Mars get their water. Colin Dundas, the U.S. Geological Survey geologist who co-discovered the ice layers told National Geographic that scientists have long theorized that reserves of water ice are locked underground on Mars. There are eight sites featured in the new study that include steep banks where erosion has exposed layers of rock and ice that the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) could see from overhead. The bands of ice first appear between three and six feet underground, which supports the idea that Mars’s mid-latitudes periodically saw large snowfalls million of years ago. This discovery could also influence how future astronauts get water if they land on Mars. Human missions to Mars likely rely on extracting water from the local environment.

Read the full story at National Geographic