TA1 Facility 1 – Iceland Field Sites, Matis
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TA1 Facility 1 – Iceland Field Sites, Matis

Average visit: 1 week

Iceland offers a multitude of different environments, including glacial and sub-glacial environments, lava fields of different ages, volcanic areas and active hydrothermal systems, that can be used for astrobiological and planetary research. Examples of research that has been carried out in the past and for which Iceland is particularly suited include:

  • Physical, chemical and biological analyses and sampling in extreme Mars-analog environments to understand the capabilities and limits of microorganisms to exist under these conditions (e.g. under extreme heat or cold).
  • Research into geological and geo-chemical interaction between rocks and microorganisms and how this might influence biosignatures/-markers on other planetary bodies.
  • Field testing of equipment and methodologies that are supposed to be employed in future Mars Missions, e.g. sampling of putative biological specimens and tracers, remote-controlled vehicles, sensors and analytical instruments.

Matis, which will coordinate the research projects in the frame of the Europlanet 2024 RI visits, has an extensive track record of conducting field research in Iceland, particularly with respect to surveys of life in extreme environments. Matis will assist visitors in planning their field research, choosing appropriate sites and organizing the logistics to assess them. Visitors will also have access to biological laboratories and other research facilities.


Viggó Marteinsson, Matis ohf. Vinlandsleid 12, 113 Reykjavík, Iceland. viggo@matis.is

Main facility webpage

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Hveravellir, Iceland. Andreas Tille, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
20-EPN-017: LITRASV – Life in TRAvertine-Sinter Veins

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