Tírez Lake, Spain. It has been proposed to have hydrogeochemistry and geochemical features comparable Europa’s ocean, a satellite of the Jupiter system. Tírez waters comprise Mg-Na-SO4-Cl brines with epsomite, hexahydrite and halite as end mineral members. Frozen Tírez brines are comparable to Galileo spectral data obtained from Europa. Calorimetric measurements have constrained the pathways and phase metastability for magnesium sulfate and sodium chloride crystallization from these waters, which may aid in understanding the processes involved in the formation of Europa’s icy crust.
The lake undergoes major seasonal changes but life is prolific in this hyper-saline environment. Tirez contains two different microbial domains: a photosynthetically sustained community represented by planktonic/benthonic forms and microbial mats, and a subsurficial anaerobic realm in which chemolithotrophy predominates. Further research is planned by INTA-CAB Madrid to fully characterize the region so that it becomes a site available for access in the second part of the research infrastructure.  For examples, on-going work is examining how the halophiles tolerate the extreme environmental stress and in some cases protect themselves against some damaging radiation using salt minerals. Dr Felipe Gomez is the contact person in relation to this planetary field analogue site.