Astrobiologist Dale Andersen Status Report 3-8 December 2012, Lake Untersee, Antarctica


image 3 December 2012:

Dale completed a 30 minute dive under the lice at Lake Untersee, Antarctica. His tasks included making collections of microorganisms and photographing the microbial mats that cover the bottom of the lake.. Metagenomic analysis will be conducted on the samples that Dale returns to the surface

4 December 2012:

Dale completed another dive today - one that lasted for 27 minutes. This time he did some core sampling of the lake bottom. This will allow measurement of geolipids, carbon dating, and the identification of microorganisms that comprise the microbial mat.

Visitors from the Indian Antarctic program are collaborating with Dale's team to provide Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) systems to look through the ice, and water, to analyse the sediments at the bottom of the lake. Right now they are calibrating the systems so as to take into account ice thickness, water depth, etc. Later they intend to take some CPR readings of the point where the Anuchin Glacier interacts with Lake Untersee.

8 December 2012: Dale has frequently commented on how nice the weather has been - especially given the conditions that greeted them upon their arrival. Weather forecast for the next few days: "TODAY broken clouds, at times with low base, east to south-easterly winds around 15kt. SUNDAY breaking clouds, east to south-easterly winds around 15kt. MONDAY until WEDNESDAY mostly sunny, east to south-easterly winds around 15kt, at times 20-25kt."

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