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Proceedings Paper

Searching for life in the Dead Sea: microbiological study using imaging spectroscopy
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Paper Abstract

The Dead Sea is very harsh environment even for microorganisms adapted to hypersaline environment. Not only does the Dead Sea contain the highest salt concentration of all natural lakes inhabited by living organisms, but the peculiar ionic composition of its water, with its high concentration of divalent cations magnesium and calcium, is highly inhibitory even to those microorganisms that are the most adapted to life in the sea. In this research imaging spectroscopy and microbiological studied used to investigate the spatial distribution of various Archaea populations according to the salty saturation of Mor swamp, Dead Sea Basin. Data from the DLR airborne sensor DAIS-7915 in the spectral range between 0.4 to 2.4 micrometers were acquired along with field and laboratory spectral measurements. The spatial and spectral data were completed by microbiological analysis. The spectral information helped to detect a concentric distribution of the Archaea population, which seems linked to the state of the salty substrate. In the wet muddy central zone lives an Archaea with the relatively lowest salt tolerance. From this centre to the peripheries, the tolerance to salt of the Archaea population was found to be increasing, as the substation changes from salty pools to salty muds and finally to massive salt layers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 January 2002
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 4545, Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology, (23 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.453668
Show Author Affiliations
Michal Shimoni, International Institution for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (Belgium)
Eyal Ben-Dor, Tel Aviv Univ. (United States)
Arnon Karnieli, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev (Israel)
Jerry Eichler, Ben-Gurion Univ. of the Negev (Israel)
Freek Van der Meer, International Institution for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences (Netherlands)
Hermann J. Kaufmann, GeoForshcungsZentrum Potsdam (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4545:
Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology
Manfred Ehlers, Editor(s)

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