Brine pockets in sea-ice

Sea-ice that appears solid to the eye and hand is deceptive. Within the ice matrix, on a scale relevant to microorganisms, tiny veins and pockets of briny fluid that house bacteria exist. We know that some of these bacteria remain metabolically active in these fluids, even as the temperatures drop severely during the Arctic winter. But few of these organisms have been brought into culture. (Adapted from Junge et al., 2001, Annals of Glaciology).. Image courtesy of Arctic Exploration 2002, NOAA/OER.

Related Links

Arctic Expedition 2002

Arctic Exploration: Novel Microorganisms

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery