UK Centre for Astrobiology

Subsurface Astrobiology

The UKCA operates a deep subsurface astrobiology laboratory

In 2012, in collaboration with the STFC-funded Boulby Underground Science Facility, the UKCA established the world's first deep subsurface astrobiology laboratory at 1 km depth in the Boulby Mine.

The lab has been used for a diversity of projects to study life and its biosignatures in the deep subsurface. It is equipped for basic microbiology and can be used by anyone in the community. Projects carried out at the lab include:

  • Investigations on life in deep salts
  • Investigations on the biosignatures of life in the deep subsurface
  • Studies on below-background radiation
  • Biogeochemistry of deep subsurface gases
  • Microscopy in the deep subsurface
  • and others.
The Boulby International Subsurface Astrobiology Labortaory (BISAL)
The Boulby International Subsurface Astrobiology Labortaory (BISAL)