There might be a lot of water on Mars — hidden under the surface.

Deep Mars

Researchers at the University of Southern California dropped a bold claim Thursday: based on a new analysis, Mars likely harbors a "deep groundwater" system that probably extends far beyond the planet's poles and bubbles to the surface through cracks in craters.

"We have seen the same mechanisms in the North African Sahara and in the Arabian Peninsula, and it helped us explore the same mechanism on Mars," researcher Abotalib Abotalib said in a press release.

Water World

In a new paper published in the prestigious journal Nature Geoscience, Abotalib and his colleagues detail their analysis of data from a radar instrument on Mars Express, a European Space Agency probe that orbits the Red Planet.

Last month, the probe provided evidence of a wider Martian groundwater system than scientists had previously believed to exist. But the Southern California team's analysis takes this a step further, hypothesizing that pressurized water under the surface spills out through cracks to form visible above-ground streams.

READ MORE: USC researchers find new evidence of deep groundwater on Mars [University of Southern California]

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