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We report the first microbiological characterization of a terrestrial methane seep in a cryo-environment in the form of an Arctic hypersaline (∼24% salinity), subzero (-5 °C), perennial spring, arising through thick permafrost in an area with an average annual air temperature of -15 °C. Bacterial and archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries indicated a(More)
Lake Untersee is one of the largest (11.4 km(2)) and deepest (>160 m) freshwater lakes in East Antarctica. Located at 71°S the lake has a perennial ice cover, a water column that, with the exception of a small anoxic basin in the southwest of the lake, is well mixed, supersaturated with dissolved oxygen, alkaline (pH 10.4) and exceedingly clear. The floor(More)
The springs at Gypsum Hill and Colour Peak on Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian Arctic originate from deep salt aquifers and are among the few known examples of cold springs in thick permafrost on Earth. The springs discharge cold anoxic brines (7.5 to 15.8% salts), with a mean oxidoreduction potential of -325 mV, and contain high concentrations of(More)
The saline springs of Gypsum Hill in the Canadian high Arctic are a rare example of cold springs originating from deep groundwater and rising to the surface through thick permafrost. The heterotrophic bacteria and autotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria (up to 40% of the total microbial community) isolated from the spring waters and sediments were classified(More)
Schirmacher Oasis is one of the few ice-free plateaus in East Antarctica that maintains a unique distribution of over 120 microbial-rich, dynamic freshwater lakes, most of which are unexplored. In this study, we describe the bacterial diversity of the rock-water interface in Lake Tawani(P) using culture-independent Bacterial Tag Encoded FLX Amplicon(More)
Many Antarctic lakes provide habitat for extensive microbial mats that respond on various timescales to environmental change. Lake Joyce contains calcifying microbialites and provides a natural laboratory to constrain how environmental changes influence microbialite development. In Lake Joyce, depth-specific distributions of calcitic microbialites, organic(More)
Perennially ice-covered, meromictic lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are useful models to study the relationship between cyanobacterial and environmental variables. They have rich benthic cyanobacterial mat accumulations and stable stratification of physical and chemical conditions. Here, we evaluated cyanobacteria from benthic mats from(More)
Lake Vanda is a perennially ice-covered, closed-basin lake in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Laminated photosynthetic microbial mats cover the floor of the lake from below the ice cover to >40 m depth. In recent decades, the water level of Lake Vanda has been rising, creating a "natural experiment" on development of mat communities on newly flooded(More)
The perennial springs at Gypsum Hill (GH) and Colour Peak (CP), situated at nearly 80 degrees N on Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian high Arctic, are one of the few known examples of cold springs in thick permafrost on Earth. The springs emanate from deep saline aquifers and discharge cold anoxic brines rich in both sulfide and sulfate. Grey-coloured(More)
The Atacama along the Pacific Coast of Chile and Peru is one of the driest and possibly oldest deserts in the world. It represents an extreme habitat for life on Earth and is an analog for life in dry conditions on Mars. We report on four years (September 1994-October 1998) of climate and moisture data from the extreme arid region of the Atacama. Our data(More)