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Oxygen Profile of a Thermo-Haliophilic Community in the Badwater Salt FlatBadwater is the lowest, saltiest, and hottest, place in North America. This extreme environment is 86 meters (282 feet) below sea level surrounded by four mountain ranges. Due to the geographical location Badwater does not receive moisture from the prevailing winds, this intern results in a hot, arid, and salty environment. Despite these extreme living conditions, microbes manage to flourish within the salt flat. The salt acts as an insulator making life just beneath the surface more comfortable In this paper, we compare the microbial population versus oxygen concentration; and the importance of and the role of oxygen in metabolic functions by these thermo-haliophiles. Furthermore a model of the oxygen profile will also provide an insight to the oxygen cycle in salty environments. This research has implications for the limits of life on Earth and Mars. Recent results from the MER rovers show that water on Mars was very salty. Measuring the oxygen profile in these salty environments on Earth provides a framework within which potential life on Mars can be evaluated. The use of an oxygen profile could also be used as a search criteria for life.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Smith, H. D.
(Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Inst. Mountain View, CA, United States)
McKay, C. P.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Rainey, F.
(Louisiana State Univ. Baton Rouge, LA, United States)
Bebout, B.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Carpenter, S.
(NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 21, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Workshop on Oxygen in the Terrestrial Planets
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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