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Third MASE sampling trip in Bavaria

December 16 2014

The third sampling trip in Bavaria Germany, held on held on 02 December 2014, was successful. The team took several samples from two cold sulfidic springs near Regensburg.

The Sippenauer Moor is a marsh area in a protected area with several natural spring outflows; the Mühlbach Schwefelquelle is an artificial spring, drilled almost 100 years ago. Both sites offer the opportunity to study anaerobic life from the deep subsurface.

The springs are cold with a constant temperature of 10°C, pH neutral and show the characteristic smell of H2S. Having almost no organics compounds but a high amount of sulfate and ammonia, the sites resemble Martian conditions. The objectives of the third sampling trip were a geological characterization, phylogenetic characterization and the cultivation of certain microorganism with selected metabolism abilities.

By performing this, comprehensive insights into the microbial community and their life style can be obtained. Water and sediment samples from both sites were taken and are further processed in the laboratories. A highlight was the successful testing of a life detecting system on-site: this system is based on several antibody reactions and is designed to be applied on future Mars missions.

A man-made boat, floating in the Sippenauer Moor &The artificial spring "Muehlbach Schwefelquelle Isling".

     

Credit: Anna Auerbach

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