Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Distribution of glacial deposits, soils, and permafrost in Taylor Valley, Antarctica

September 28, 2010

We provide a map of lower and central Taylor Valley, Antarctica, that shows deposits from Taylor Glacier, local alpine glaciers, and grounded ice in the Ross Embayment. From our electronic database, which includes 153 sites from the coast 50 km upvalley to Pearse Valley, we show the distribution of permafrost type and soil subgroups according to Soil Taxonomy. Soils in eastern Taylor Valley are of late Pleistocene age, cryoturbated due to the presence of ground ice or ice-cemented permafrost within 70 cm of the surface, and classified as Glacic and Typic Haploturbels. In central Taylor Valley, soils are dominantly Typic Anhyorthels of mid-Pleistocene age that have dry-frozen permafrost within the upper 70 cm. Salt-enriched soils (Salic Anhyorthels and Petrosalic Anhyorthels) are of limited extent in Taylor Valley and occur primarily on drifts of early Pleistocene and Pliocene age. Soils are less developed in Taylor Valley than in nearby Wright Valley, because of lesser salt input from atmospheric deposition and salt weathering. Ice-cemented permafrost is ubiquitous on Ross Sea, pre-Ross Sea, and Bonney drifts that occur within 28 km of the McMurdo coast. In contrast, dry-frozen permafrost is prevalent on older (???115 ky) surfaces to the west. ?? 2008 Regents of the University of Colorado.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2008
Title Distribution of glacial deposits, soils, and permafrost in Taylor Valley, Antarctica
DOI 10.1657/1523-0430(06-057)[BOCKHEIM]2.0.CO;2
Authors James G. Bockheim, M.L. Prentice, M. McLeod
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research
Index ID 70000523
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse