Sediment in ice core sample. Close-up of sediment (brown) trapped among branching patterns of ice. The ice is part of a sample (ice core) that was drilled from the frozen surface of Lake Bonney in Antarctica. This lake, and another Antarctic lake, Lake Vostok, are being investigated for possible microbial ecosystems in the liquid water below the kilometres-thick ice surfaces. Radar studies show that the lower surface of the ice slowly melts and refreezes in a cycle of many thousands of years, slowly bringing sediments from the surface to the water below. There are plans to study the possible ice-based ecosystems on Mars and other worlds.
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