Coldest salt water
Last updated: January 5, 2018 at 17:35 pm
-10°C (14°F) – Lake Vida, Antarctica (1996). The hypersaline water of Lake Vida has seven times the salt concentration of seawater and remains liquid at much colder temperatures. The freezing point of seawater, i.e. water from a sea or ocean as opposed to a landlocked salt lake, with an average salinity of 35 ppt (parts per thousand) is -1.94°C (28.5°F).
“Lake Vida, the largest of several unique lakes found in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, contains no oxygen, is mostly frozen and possesses the highest nitrous oxide levels of any natural water body on Earth. A briny liquid, which is approximately six times saltier than seawater, percolates throughout the icy environment where the average temperature is minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit (-22°C). Despite the very cold, dark and isolated nature of the habitat, the report finds the brine harbors a surprisingly diverse and abundant variety of bacteria that survive without a current source of energy from the sun. Previous studies of Lake Vida dating back to 1996 indicate the brine and its inhabitants have been isolated from outside influences for more than 3,000 years.”¹
¹ NASA Researchers Discover Ancient Microbes in Antarctic Lake. November 30, 2012.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.