International Journal of Astrobiology

FT-Raman spectroscopic analysis of an Antarctic endolith

Susana E. Jorge Villar a1 1 , Howell G.M. Edwards a1, David D. Wynn-Williams the latea2 and M. Roger Worland a2
a1 Department of Chemical and Forensic Sciences, University of Bradford, Bradford BD7 1DP, UK e-mail: [email protected]
a2 Biological Sciences Division, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ET, UK


The FT-Raman spectra of an Antarctic endolith from the LTER site at Lake Hoare are reported. The specimen provides an unusual occurrence of endolithic colonization of an igneous rock substratum, which analyses as microcline feldspar. The presence of aragonite in the red biological stratum and calcite in a fissure of the rock which has not been subjected to colonization can be attributed to the penetration of calcareous deposits from shallow ground water in an earlier environment in the Dry Valleys. The green biological layer is composed of chlorophyll and β-carotene. Comparison with previous Raman spectroscopic work on endoliths in sedimentary Beacon sandstone is effected.

(Accepted November 11 2002)

Key Words: biogeological modification; endolith; Lake Hoare; Raman spectroscopy.


1 On leave from: Area de Geodinamica, Facultad de Humanidades y Educacion, Universidad de Burgos, Calle Villadiego S/N, 09001 Burgos, Spain.