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Field work at the East German Creek, Manitoba, Canada hypersaline springs site. An analogue for searching for possible fossil hypersaline spring deposits on Mars.

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The East German Creek analogue site consists of a suite of ~20 springs where basal glacial meltwater was injected into shallowly dipping strata of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin during the last ice age. With removal of the overlying ice, flow direction reversed with the injected water now flowing out at the surface in a series of springs. The East German Creek site also contains fossil spring mounds and various microbially induced sedimentary structures, variations in precipitated minerals with distance from the springs, as well as presumed microbially-affected mineral precipitates.


Relevant references:

Allen, C.C., and D.Z. Oehler (2008) A case for ancient springs in Arabia Terra, Mars. Astrobiology, 8, 1093-1112.
Berard, G., D. Applin, E. Cloutis, J. Stromberg, R. Sharma, P. Mann, S. Grasby, R. Bezys, B. Horgan, K. Londry, M. Rice, B. Last, F. Last, P. Badiou, G. Goldsborough, and J.F. Bell III (2013) A hypersaline spring analogue in Manitoba, Canada for potential ancient spring deposits on Mars. Icarus , 224, 399-412.
Grasby, S.E., and K.L. Londry (2007) Biogeochemistry of hypersaline springs supporting a mid-continent marine ecosystem: An analogue for martian springs? Astrobiology, 7, 662-683.
Wray, J.J., R.E. Milliekn, C.M. Dundas, G.A. Swayze, J.C. Andrews-Hanna, A.M. Baldridge, M. Chojnacki, J.L. Bishop, B.L. Ehlmann, S.L. Murchie, R.N. Clark, F.P. Seelos, L.L. Tornabene, and S.W. Squyres (2011) Columbus crater and other possible groundwater-fed paleolakes of Terra Sirenum, Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, 1-41.