Autonomous Year-Round Sampling and Sensing to Explore the Physical and Biological Habitability of Permanently Ice-Covered Antarctic Lakes

TitleAutonomous Year-Round Sampling and Sensing to Explore the Physical and Biological Habitability of Permanently Ice-Covered Antarctic Lakes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsWinslow, LA, Dugan, HA, Buelow, HN, Cronin, KD, Priscu, JC, Takacs-Vesbach, C, Doran, PT
JournalMarine Technology Society Journal
Volume48
Issue5
Pagination8 - 17
Date PublishedJan-09-2014
ISSN00253324
Abstract

The lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, are some of the only systems on our planet that are perennially ice-covered and support year-round metabolism. As such, these ecosystems can provide important information on conditions and life in polar regions on Earth and on other icy worlds in our solar system. Working in these extreme environments of the Dry Valleys poses many challenges, particularly with respect to data collection during dark winter months when logistical constraints make fieldwork difficult. In this paper, we describe the motivation, design, and challenges for this recently deployed instrumentation in Lake Bonney, a lake that has been the subject of summer research efforts for more than 40 years. The instrumentation deployed includes autonomous water, phytoplankton, and sediment samplers as well as cable-mounted profiling platforms with dissolved gas and fluorometry sensors. Data obtained from these instruments will allow us, for the first time, to define the habitability of this environment during the polar night. We include lessons learned during deployment and recommendations for effective instrument operation in these extreme conditions.

URLhttp://openurl.ingenta.com/content/xref?genre=article&issn=0025-3324&volume=48&issue=5&spage=8http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/mts/mtsj/2014/00000048/00000005/art00002
DOI10.4031/MTSJ.48.5.6
Short Titlemar technol soc j