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Pavilion Lake - 2008

In 2008, for the first time, the PLRP deployed five scientists and two astronauts in Deepworker submersibles to help meet our science objectives. The two major goals of the 2008 Deepworker mission were to 1) produce a map of the lake by combining human observation with high definition video and 2) collect microbialite samples from depths where our scuba team could not safely dive.


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  1. Cauliflower-shaped microbialites in the shallows (~15 m depth). Note the tree in the foreground with microbialites growing on it. The rate of growth of the microbialites on the tree can be determined by measuring the age of the tree. In the background, some chimney-shaped microbialites are visible.
  2. Coral-shaped microbialite at ~45 m depth. Microbialites of this morphology are generally harder than shallower structures and have a black coating. Scale: the red laser dots are 20 cm apart.
  3. Microbialites at ~45 m depth. Like the coral-like deep microbialites, these structures are black on the outside. But their morphology more closely resembles the shallower artichoke-like microbialites from ~30 m depth.
  4. A scuba diver supports the autonomous underwater vehicle UBC Gavia.
  5. NASA Astronaut Mike Gernhardt pilots a DeepWorker submersible to map the distribution of microbialites in the lake. The image was taken by the other DeepWorker submersible.
  6. Uniquely-shaped microbialites growing on a large rock.
  7. Group discussion of microbialite samples, credit: Jim Thompson
  8. Microbialite documentation and subsampling at Pavilion Lake, credit: Neil McDaniel
  9. UBC-GAVIA standing by for launch, credit: Donnie Reid
  10. Traverse planning dialog, credit: Jim Thompson
  11. Launching DeepWorker submersible into Pavilion Lake, credit: Jim Thompson
  12. Sampling water from local salt ponds, credit: Harry Bohm
  13. Still waters of Pavilion Lake in the morning, credit: Neil McDaniel