- Grey haematite was recently detected in the Terra Meridiani region of Mars by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer onboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. The formation of haematite on Earth often requires liquid water to be present for long periods of time, making this an important target for deciphering the history of water on Mars. The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed in Meridiani early in 2004 and has since discovered light-toned bedrock outcrops rich in chemical and textural signatures of long-term water interaction locally at the landing site. Here I use remote sensing data to show that the light-toned outcrops at the landing site are not a local phenomenon. Instead, they are observable throughout the haematite-bearing plains in both visible and thermal infrared remote sensing data. Moreover, the light-toned material outcrops around much of the margin and is mappable for hundreds of kilometres to the north, east and west of the plains. I infer that 3 x 10(5) km(2) of this material is exposed over 20 degrees of longitude, indicating the extended presence of surface or near-surface water over a large region of Mars.