Expedition Categories  >  Biology
Microorganisms in Antarctic Glacier Ice
Are microorganisms metabolically active in glacier ice? To address this exciting question, the research team will travel to the McMurdo Dry Valleys-one of the harshest environments on Earth-to study the biology, geology, and chemistry of basal ice-the dynamic layer of ice closest to the bedrock at the base of a glacier. The team will use a tunnel cut into the side of Taylor Glacier to reach the basal ice layer. Data collected from field measurements and laboratory experiments will help researchers understand the connections between available nutrients, geochemical properties, and gas composition. This information will be used to see if there is evidence for metabolism of microorganisms living in the ice and to link this to the types of cells present.In addition, the research team will be investigating the similarities and differences among microorganisms in different types of ice within the basal ice zone. Some layers in the basal ice zone are clear and have little sediment. Other layers have high concentrations of debris The basal ice zones of polar glaciers show similarities with the layered deposits evident in images of the northern ice cap on Mars. The findings from this project may be of interest to scientists studying potential habitats for microbial life on Mars and on the survival in of microorganisms in ice because the frozen environments in Antarctica and Mars may have many similarities.
EQ Expedition No. Expedition Leader  
EXP11600 EQ Admin  
Countries Covered Areas Covered
Antarctica Antarctica
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http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/microorganisms-in-antarctic-glacier-ice
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EQ Expedition No. Expedition Leader   Team Size
EXP11600
Project Cost. Seeking Additional Funding?
No
Countries Covered Areas Covered
Antarctica Antarctica
Expedition Website
http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/microorganisms-in-antarctic-glacier-ice
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Biology
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September 2017
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