The Dry Valleys of Antarctica


This image is edited from a LIMA based map from the
Antarctic Geospatial Information Center
(http:// (Full-Size image).

Our work in Antarctica focuses on the Dry Valley region, the largest snow-free region in Antarctica, covering 4,800 km2. The Dry Valleys are extremely cold and dry deserts, with average temperatures of -20C and anual percipitation of less than 1 cm.  These stable cold-desert conditions are thought to have prevailed for hundreds-of-thousands, if not millions, of years, and have preserved an extensive surface record of late Cenozoic Antarctic glaciations.  This makes research in the Dry Valleys vital to our understanding of past ice sheet dynamics and climate changes.  By understanding this past record, we can predict the future repercussions of our rapidly changing climate.

The Dry Valleys of Antarctica are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty System which sets aside land below 60 S as a scientific perserve, not to be used for economic or military purposes.  Research is supported by personnell at McMurdo Base Station, which is presently operated by the Raytheon Corporation.

For official information about McMurdo Base
Station see:

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