Astrobiologist Dale Andersen's Field Reports
Satellite image showing the location of Lake Untersee and Lake Obersee
9 December 2012
Astrobiologist Dale Anderson and his team visited nearby Lake Obersee today. Lake Untersee is situated at an altitude of 560 meters and more than 100 meters in depth in many places. In contrast, Lake Obersee is located at a higher latitude of 756 meters and is smaller and shallower with a maximum depth of 55 meters.
This image of the large conical stromatolites in Lake Untersee was made using a Nikon D3s with a Nikkor 14-24mm lens inside a Subal Housing. Lighting was provided by two Sea & Sea YS-250 Pro strobes in manual mode. Credit: Dale T. Andersen
Astrobiologist Dale Andersen from the SETI Institute is currently on his way back to the U.s. via a stop over in Capetown, South Africa. Dale and his team spent a month or so at Lake Untersee in Antarctica. This photo was taken shortly before Christmas. Dale is shown holding a patch for the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Larger view.
Scientist Dale Andersen prepares to dive in Lake Untersee in Queen Maud Land in Antarctica. Andersen and colleagues will dive in Lake Joyce in the McMurdo Dry Valleys this season to study unusual microbial communities that grow coral reef-like structures. Photo Courtesy: Dale Andersen
Photo: Steam rises from the carbonate terraces that form at the Colour Peak perennial spring (N79*22.866' W091*16.270'). Colour Peak, a salt dome, is in the background. Photo: Dale Andersen (c)2009
There are several regions on Earth where mean annual temperatures are well below freezing and yet liquid water persists. Such polar regions provide excellent analogs to study the hydrological cycle under conditions that have prevailed in the polar desert environment of Mars.