Distribution of depth to ice-cemented soils in the high-elevation Quartermain Mountains, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica

Margarita M. Marinova, Christopher P. McKay, Wayne H. Pollard, Jennifer L. Heldmann, Alfonso F. Davila, Dale T. Andersen, W. Andrew Jackson, Denis Lacelle, Gale Paulsen, Kris Zacny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

We report on 475 measurements of depth to ice-cemented ground in four high-elevation valleys of the Quartermain Mountains, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. These valleys have pervasive ice-cemented ground, and the depth to ice-cemented ground and the ice composition may be indicators of climate change. In University Valley, the measured depth to ice-cemented ground ranges from 0-98 cm. There is an overall trend of increasing depth to ice-cemented ground with distance from a small glacier at the head of the valley, with a slope of 32 cm depth per kilometre along the valley floor. For Farnell Valley, the depth to ice-cemented ground is roughly constant (c. 30 cm) in the upper and central parts of the valley, but increases sharply as the valley descends into Beacon Valley. The two valleys north of University Valley also have extensive ice-cemented ground, with depths of 20-40 cm, but exhibit no clear patterns of ice depth with location. For all valleys there is a tendency for the variability in depth to ice-cemented ground at a site to increase with increasing depth to ice. Snow recurrence, solar insolation, and surface albedo may all be factors that cause site to site variations in these valleys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-582
Number of pages8
JournalAntarctic Science
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2013

Keywords

  • Mars
  • University Valley
  • dry permafrost
  • vapour diffusion

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    Marinova, M. M., McKay, C. P., Pollard, W. H., Heldmann, J. L., Davila, A. F., Andersen, D. T., Jackson, W. A., Lacelle, D., Paulsen, G., & Zacny, K. (2013). Distribution of depth to ice-cemented soils in the high-elevation Quartermain Mountains, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 25(4), 575-582. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095410201200123X