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Originally posted by Animal
my automatic assumption based on what information is provided in the images is straight forward.
the ice is melting and has exposed rock out-croppings with high iron content, thus the red coloration.
i live in northern new mexico and there are a number of places within 50 miles of me with similar coloration so to me it seems rather benign.
"Unlike the sulfur-powered communities present at undersea vents, there's little indication of a hydrogen sulfide metabolism present in the ice at Blood Falls. Instead, it appears that energy is obtained when sulfur is cycled through different oxidation states by reacting it with iron, producing the Fe(II) seen in the brine. The oxidized sulfur is then used to react with carbon compounds, powering the metabolism. All of that is pretty low-energy-the authors suggest that the doubling time for a bacterium in this environment would be roughly 300 days-and requires an external source of Fe(III) to power the system. The authors posit that the glacier itself might provide the source by extracting new iron as it scrapes across the underlying rocks."