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McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER - MCM


LTER Sites > McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER

NSF Award(s) ANT-1115245 (View all sites)

The McMurdo Dry Valleys are located on the western coast of McMurdo Sound (7700'S 16252'E) and form the largest relatively ice-free area (approximately 4800 square kilometers) on the Antarctic continent. These ice-free areas of Antarctica display a sharp contrast to most other ecosystems in the world, which exist under far more moderate environmental conditions. The perennially ice-covered lakes, ephemeral streams and extensive areas of exposed soil within the McMurdo Dry Valleys are subject to low temperatures, limited precipitation and salt accumulation. Thus, the dry valleys represent a region where life approaches its environmental limits, and is an "end-member" in the spectrum of environments included in the LTER Network.
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Contact Information
Site Contacts
Principal Investigator: Michael Gooseff
Primary Contact: Michael Gooseff
Information Mgr: Renee Brown
Education Contact: Alexandra Rose
Graduate Student Representative: Ashley Shaw
Social Science Representative: Tom Cioppa
Climate Science Representative: Peter Doran
Communication Representative:
Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research - MCM LTER
University of Colorado
Campus Box 450
Boulder, CO 80309-0450 USA
Phone: 303-492-4687
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Site History
The McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER project is an interdisciplinary study of the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in a cold desert region of Antarctica. In 1992 this area was selected as a study site within the National Science Foundation's Long-term Ecological Research (LTER) Program. Details about the research can be reviewed through the original 1992 research proposal to the National Science Foundation, or the more recent 1998 proposal, resulting in funding for another 6 years.
Research Topics
Microbial ecosystem dynamics in arid soils, ephemeral streams, and closed basin lakes; resource and environmental controls on terrestrial, stream and lake ecosystems; material transport between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; ecosystem response to greater hydrologic flux driven by warming climate.
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Institutional Affiliations Research Sites
Site Location
Lat: -77.00000 | Long. +163.783

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Climate Info.
Annual High Mean Low
Temperature 11.8 c -19.0c -65.7c
Precipitation mm/year 100 mm/year mm/year
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