A new platform on Antarctic soils

03 November 2023

Since 1957 New Zealand’s soil scientists have been exploring the nature, properties, and formation of the scientifically remarkable Antarctic soils. A recent 2-year project, supported by a partnership between Manaaki Whenua and Te Tahua Taiao Ngā Taonga – Lottery Environment and Heritage, has culminated in a new web service providing fascinating insights into these early explorations.

We have combined the data with cultural information and are presenting it online on the recently launched Antarctic Soils Explorer. This web portal features information on Antarctic history, Antarctic soil research over time, and the scientists involved, as well as Māori connections to Antarctica. Original materials and recollections from Antarctic excursions, such as slides, photographs, and field notes from the original soil sampling excursions by Graeme Claridge and Iain Campbell, can be explored.

An interactive map of the Antarctic continent shows all locations from which soil samples have been gathered. All missions from 1964 through to 1999 are listed in chronological order. While this allows to generate individual site-based reports, the entire database can also be downloaded in .sql format.

The ‘Antarctic Soils Explorer’ can be accessed from

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