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W. V. Boynton, D. K. Hamara (University of Arizona, Lunar Planetary Laboratory), W. A. Feldman, T. H. Prettyman (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Team
Recently we published results concerning the subsurface ice content in the south polar region of Mars (Boynton et al. 2002, Science 297:81-84). Data from the Mars Odyssey Gamma-Ray Spectrometer suggested that from latitudes south of about -45 degrees, the regolith consisted of two layers: a hydrogen-poor layer overlaying a hydrogen-rich layer having the equivalent water content of 35% +\- 15% by weight. We suggested that the hydrogen in the lower layer was in the form of ice based both on the large concentration of ice and the fact that it was only found in regions where ice is stable.
At the time of that work, the northern polar region was shrouded with its seasonal carbon dioxide cap. This cap is now receding, and we can already see significant enhancements in hydrogen comparable to those seen in the south. We expect to be able to perform a quantitative analysis of the hydrogen content similar to that done on the south polar region and we will report the results at the meeting.
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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #3< br> © 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.