Ecosystem found beneath collapsed Antarctic ice shelf

July 22nd, 2005 | Filed under: Biology, Science | No Comments »

The chance discovery of a vast ecosystem beneath the collapsed Larsen Ice Shelf will allow scientists to explore the uncharted life below Antarctica’s floating ice shelves and further probe the origins of life in extreme environments. Researchers discovered the sunless habitat after a recent underwater video study examining a deep glacial trough in the northwestern Weddell Sea following the sudden Larsen B shelf collapse in 2002.

“Seeing these organisms on the ocean bottom–it’s like lifting the carpet off the floor and finding a layer that you never knew was there.”said Eugene Domack, a professor at Hamilton College in New York and lead author of the report detailing the ecosystem. [American Geophysical Union article (pdf)]

via Science Blog

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