Taylor Valley


Looking across Taylor Valley at the Rhone Glacier. The
rock in the foreground shows cavernous weathering, a
combination of freeze-thaw, salt weathering, and wind
erosion. (Full-Size Image).

Interesting Facts:
  • Location- 76 37' S, 163 00' E

  • Average Temperature--18C

  • Average Precipitation-less than one cm

  • Length- 35 km

  • Area- 400 km2

  • Number of Glaciers-about 20

  • Major Lakes-Lake Bonney, Lake Fryxell, and Lake Hoare

  • Taylor Valley was first discovered by Robert Falcon Scott in 1903. Scott described Taylor Valley as "a valley of the dead" because it appeared devoid of flora and fauna.

  • Taylor Valley is the "warmest" and "wettest" of the McMurdo Dry Valleys.
Site map

The above map is a scaled skematic of elevation changes along the floor of Taylor Valley from McMurdo Sound to Taylor Glacier. The two major basins in Taylor Valley, Bonney Basin and Fryxell Basin, are separated by a 120 m threshold. Fryxell Basin is separated from McMurdo Sound by a long moraine named Coral Ridge, averaging 100 m. The lowest point along Coral Ridge is a channel at 80 m elevation (Full-Size image).

Antarctica07 Antarctica08
Left:Up-valley view of Taylor Valley from on top of Coral Ridge; Right: Down-valley view from a helicopter near Lake Bonney.