DIX Planetary Science Seminar
The search for evidence for extant and extinct in hypersaline brine and hydrated salt mineral environments can be difficult due to needing to decipher biogenic/biological components from organic and mineral substrate. This problem persists in Martian settings (RSLs, hydrated mineral veins, etc.) and in Europa ice environments (cryobrines, ocean-ice interfaces, etc.) where the burden of proof for life is higher. Terrestrial extreme environments typically have the benefit of microbial ecology alongside geobiological assessments but for life detection on rocky planets and icy worlds this evidence typically can be limited and other geobiological means need to be employed. The purpose of this talk is to highlight hydrated mineral-microbial features that have been uncovered in geologically modern evaporite mineral and brine samples as well as ancient brines that showcase the loss of biogenic evidence.