posted on Dec, 17 2002 @ 01:30 PM
Facinating article with pics...
NSF-supported researchers drilling into Lake Vida, an Antarctic "ice-block" lake, have found the lake isn't really an ice block at all. In the
December 16 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team reveals that Antarctic Lake Vida may represent a previously unknown
ecosystem, a frigid, "ice-sealed," lake that contains the thickest non-glacial lake ice cover on Earth and water seven times saltier than
Because of the arid, chilled environment in which it resides, scientists believe the lake may be an important template for the search for evidence of
ancient microbial life on Mars and other icy worlds.
Researchers previously thought Vida was one of several Antarctic lakes that are frozen to their beds year-round. However, using ground-penetrating
radar, ice core analyses, and long-term temperature data, the researchers now show that Vida has a thick light-blocking ice cover, a vast amount of
ancient organic material and sediment, and a cold, super-salty, liquid zone underlying the ice -- an environment that remains liquid at temperatures
under -10ƒC, well below the freezing point of pure water.
Bubbles associated with sediment in dry valley lake ice. The bubbles tell us that there was liquid water present above the sediment at one time and
that the water froze from the top down.