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Soils of western Wright Valley, Antarctica

Western Wright Valley, from Wright Upper Glacier to the western end of the Dais, can be divided into three broad geomorphic regions: the elevated Labyrinth, the narrow Dais which is connected to the Labyrinth, and the North and South forks which are bifurcated by the Dais. Soil associations of Typic Haplorthels/Haploturbels with ice-cemented permafrost at < 70cm are most common in each of these geomorphic regions. Amongst the Haplo Great Groups are patches of Salic and Typic Anhyorthels with ice-cemented permafrost at > 70 cm. They are developed in situ in strongly weathered drift with very low surface boulder frequency and occur on the upper erosion surface of the Labyrinth and on the Dais. Typic Anhyorthels also occur at lower elevation on sinuous and patchy Wright Upper III drift within the forks. Salic Aquorthels exist only in the South Fork marginal to Don Juan Pond, whereas Salic Haplorthels occur in low areas of both South and North forks where any water table is> 50 cm. Most soils within the study area have an alkaline pH dominated by Na+ and Cl- ions. The low salt accumulation within Haplorthels/Haploturbels may be due to limited depth of soil development and possibly leaching.
Journal Article
Type of thesis
McLeod, M., Bockheim, J., Balks, M. & Aislabie, J. (2009). Soils of western Wright Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 21(4), 355-365.
Cambridge University Press
This article has been published in the journal: Antarctic Science. © Copyright Antarctic Science Ltd 2009.