The Ross Sea Region soils
Soil data deposited in our Ross Sea region soils database is part of the New Zealand
National Soils Database (NSD) — a nationally significant database — that is managed by Landcare Research.
The database contains historic and recent soil site and soil pit horizon data from:
- Thirty five years of soil studies by Drs Ian Campbell and Graeme Claridge and their colleagues.
- Investigation since 2005 by Mr Malcolm McLeod, Dr Megan Balks, Prof Jim Bockheim and colleagues
in Wright Valley, Cape Hallett, and the Darwin Mountains.
Included in the database are descriptions of over 1000 soil pits at soil sites clustered around ice-free areas,
reaching as far south and east as 87º S, 150º E and as far north and west as 72º S, 170º E. For each soil pit, site
and soil horizons are described in detail. Site descriptions include observations of the surrounding geological,
topographic and climatic contexts, and local surface features, site moisture, parent material and biology.
Data on the site is taken from the following sources:
Soil site and soil pit horizon data from 35 years of soil
studies by Iain Campbell, Graeme Claridge and their colleagues have been
organised into this soils database.
SCAR Composite Gazeteer of Antarctic Placenames (CGA)
The SCAR CGA is managed by the Italian Antarctic Research Programme, and can be
downloaded from their website.
The copy here has been reformatted from a Word document into ESRI's shapefile
format for use within a GIS.
Antarctic Digital Database
Vector data from the SCAR ADD managed by British Antarctic Survey has been
downloaded from their
website. For the Ross Sea this data is dominantly derived from the
printed 1:250,000 USGS topographic map series of the region. The original data
was organised in seperate sheets, within each layer, the sheets have been
merged into a single shapefile for efficient access. The data provided are from
RAMP-1 125m SAR mosaic
A quadrant of the 1.6GB medium resolution version of the
Radarsat-1 Antarctic Mapping Project (RAMP) mosaic was extracted and
downloaded for use in this website.
The Ross Sea Region soils database is provided by Landcare Research and is served over the web as part of Landcare Research’s National Soils Database.
We appreciate the financial support of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, New Zealand (CO9X0307 and C09X1001) and the logistic support
of Antarctica New Zealand, Helicopters New Zealand, and the staff at Scott Base. Soil analyses were done in the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory, Landcare Research, New Zealand.
Last modified 2010, November 3.
Bockheim, JG and McLeod, M. 2006. Soil formation in Wright Valley, Antarctica since the Late Neogene. Geoderma 137:109-116.
Bockheim, J.G., McLeod, M. 2008. Soil distribution in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Geoderma 144: 43-49.
Bockheim, J. G., Campbell, I. B., McLeod, M. 2008. Use of soil chronosequences for testing the existence of high-water-level lakes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica.
Catena 74, 144–152
Campbell IB, Claridge GGC. 1987: Antarctica: soils, weathering processes and environment. Elsevier, Amsterdam. 368p.
Hofstee EH, Balks MR, Petchey F, Campbell DI. 2006. Soils of Seabee Hook, Cape Halllet Northern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Antarctic Science 18: 473-486.
Gibb RG, Campbell IB, Claridge GGC. 2002: 35 years of Ross Sea region soil studies on-line. Third International Conference on Contaminants in
Freezing Ground, Hobart 14-18 April.2002
McLeod M, Bockheim JG, Balks MR. 2008. Glacial geomorphology, soil development and permafrost features in central-upper Wright Valley, Antarctica.
Geoderma. 144: 93-103.
McLeod M, Bockheim J, Balks M, Aislabie, J. 2009. Soils of western Wright Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science. 21: 355-365.