Strange holes found have been found on Mars may be linked to underground ice and water as large as Texas and California combined.
Astronomers claim the strange craters, which has a terraced rather than bowl pattern were created at different time, leading them to wonder what is going on beneath the surface of Mars.
“Craters should be bowl shaped, but this one had terraces in the wall,” says Ali Bramson, a graduate student in the University of Arizona’s Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.
Terraces can form when there are layers of different materials in the planet’s subsurface, such as dirt, ice or rock.
“When the crater is forming, the shock wave from an object hitting a planet’s surface propagates differently depending on what substrates are beneath the area of impact,” Bramson says.
“If you have a weaker material in one layer, the shock wave can push out that material more easily, and the result is terracing at the interface between the weaker and stronger materials.”
“It’s worth mentioning that terraced craters of this size are quite rare,” added Shane Byrne, associate professor in LPL.
In this area of Mars, named Arcadia Planitia, scientists have discovered a number of other terraced craters.