congresos y reuniones científicas
Life on floating pumice
JAMES ELSER; JESSICA CORMAN; ZARRAZ LEE; JANET SIEFERT; MARCELA BASTIDAS NAVARRO; FLORENCIA CUASSOLO; CECILIA LASPOUMADERES; MARÍA SOL SOUZA; BEATRIZ MODENUTTI; ESTEBAN BALSEIRO
Congreso; Astrobiology Science Conference; 2012
A megaeruption on 4 June 2011 in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic complex ejected ~100 million metric tons of ash and pumice into the surroundings. Two weeks later, large rafts of floating pumice could be seen from satellite in Lake Nahuel Huapi (near Bariloche, Argentina). During ensuing months, pumice rafts drifted inshore and offshore in various lakes, moving with the wind. In some small lakes and ponds, floating pumice covered ~100% of surface area. These novel habitats are of high relevance for astrobiology. If a future inter-planetary probe sent an image such as the satellite view above, would we recognize such islands as potential microbial habitats? Furthermore, it has been proposed that floating pumice may have been a cradle of prebiotic evolution (Brasier et al. 2011).