Ep 44: Subglacial Lakes and Life on Frozen Moons – with guest Anja Rutishauser

Subglacial lake

Far beneath the Canadian ice cap, isolated from the sun and the wind, lies two entire lakes.  These subglacial lakes, recently discovered by Anja Rutishauser and her team, seem like they shouldn’t exist at all.  For starters, they have a temperature far below the freezing point of water.  This implies that perhaps these lakes are unique in another way – they are salty, much more so than sea water.  And even though they are cold and sunless, cut off from the atmosphere and deep enough so no sun can penetrate down to their hearts,  they might even host life.  If they do, they might be a terrestrial analog for life in other places in our solar system, like in the underground oceans of Jupiter’s frozen moon, Europa.

Today Anja joins us on the podcast to talk about her discovery.  Anja is a PhD candidate at the University of Alberta.  She uses geophysical measurements to study  glaciers and ice caps in the Canadian Arctic.

You can follow Anja @anja_ruti.

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