Discovery of a hypersaline subglacial lake complex beneath Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic

dc.contributor.authorRutishauser, Anja
dc.contributor.authorBlankenship, Donald D.
dc.contributor.authorSharp, Martin
dc.contributor.authorSkidmore, Mark L.
dc.contributor.authorGreenbaum, Jamin S.
dc.contributor.authorGrima, Cyril
dc.contributor.authorSchroeder, Dustin M.
dc.contributor.authorDowdeswell, Julian A.
dc.contributor.authorYoung, Duncan A.
dc.description.abstractSubglacial lakes are unique environments that, despite the extreme dark and cold conditions, have been shown to host microbial life. Many subglacial lakes have been discovered beneath the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, but no spatially isolated water body has been documented as hypersaline. We use radio-echo sounding measurements to identify two subglacial lakes situated in bedrock troughs near the ice divide of Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic. Modeled basal ice temperatures in the lake area are no higher than −10.5°C, suggesting that these lakes consist of hypersaline water. This implication of hypersalinity is in agreement with the surrounding geology, which indicates that the subglacial lakes are situated within an evaporite-rich sediment unit containing a bedded salt sequence, which likely act as the solute source for the brine. Our results reveal the first evidence for subglacial lakes in the Canadian Arctic and the first hypersaline subglacial lakes reported to date. We conclude that these previously unknown hypersaline subglacial lakes may represent significant and largely isolated microbial habitats, and are compelling analogs for potential ice-covered brine lakes and lenses on planetary bodies across the solar system.en_US
dc.description.sponsorshipUK Natural Environment Research Council (NE/K004999); NASA (13-ICEE13-00018); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Discovery Grant/Northern Research Supplement); Alberta Innovates Technology Futures; CRYSYS Program (Environment Canada); NSF 1543537; NASA NNX16AJ64G; G. Unger Vetlesen Foundation; Fulbright Scholarship at the University of Gothenburg, Swedenen_US
dc.identifier.citationRutishauser, A., Blankenship, D. D., Sharp, M., Skidmore, M. L., Greenbaum, J. S., Grima, C., … Young, D. A. (2018). Discovery of a hypersaline subglacial lake complex beneath Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arctic. Science Advances, 4(4), eaar4353. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aar4353en_US
dc.rightsCC BY-NC, This license lets you remix, tweak, and build upon this work non-commercially, and although your new works must also acknowledge the original creator and be non-commercial, you don’t have to license your derivative works on the same terms.en_US
dc.titleDiscovery of a hypersaline subglacial lake complex beneath Devon Ice Cap, Canadian Arcticen_US
mus.citation.journaltitleScience Advancesen_US
mus.identifier.categoryLife Sciences & Earth Sciencesen_US
mus.relation.collegeCollege of Letters & Scienceen_US
mus.relation.departmentEarth Sciences.en_US
mus.relation.universityMontana State University - Bozemanen_US


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