Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Experimental formation of pore fluids in McMurdo Dry Valleys soils

  • Joseph Levy (a1), Andrew Fountain (a2), W. Berry Lyons (a3) and Kathy Welch (a3)
Abstract

The aim of the study was to determine if soil salt deliquescence and brine hydration can occur under laboratory conditions using natural McMurdo Dry Valleys soils. The experiment was a laboratory analogue for the formation of isolated patches of hypersaline, damp soil, referred to as ‘wet patches’. Soils were oven dried and then hydrated in one of two humidity chambers: one at 100% relative humidity and the second at 75% relative humidity. Soil hydration is highly variable, and over the course of 20 days of hydration, ranged from increases in water content by mass from 0–16% for 122 soil samples from Taylor Valley. The rate and absolute amount of soil hydration correlates well with the soluble salt content of the soils but not with grain size distribution. This suggests that the formation of bulk pore waters in these soils is a consequence of salt deliquescence and hydration of the brine from atmospheric water vapour.

Copyright
Corresponding author
References
Hide All
Ball, B.A. & Virginia, R.A. 2012. Meltwater seep patches increase heterogeneity of soil geochemistry and therefore habitat suitability. Geoderma, 189, 652660.
Cameron, R.E. & Conrow, H.P. 1969. Antarctic Dry Valley soil microbial incubation and gas composition. Antarctic Journal of the United States, 4, 2833.
Campbell, I.B. & Claridge, G. 1987. Antarctica: soils, weathering processes and environment. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 368 pp.
Cartwright, K. & Harris, H.J.H. 1981. Hydrogeology of the Dry Valleys region, Antarctica. Antarctic Research Series, 33, 193214.
Claridge, G. & Campbell, I.B. 1977. Salts in Antarctic soils, their distribution and relationship to soil processes. Soil Science, 123, 377384.
Davila, A.F., Duport, L.G., Melchiorri, R., Jänchen, J., Valea, S., de los Rios, A., Fairén, A.G., Möhlmann, D., McKay, C.P., Ascaso, C. & Wierzchos, J. 2010. Hygroscopic salts and the potential for life on Mars. Astrobiology, 10, 617628.
Davila, A.F., Gómez-Silva, B., de los Rios, A., Ascaso, C., Olivares, H., McKay, C.P. & Wierzchos, J. 2008. Facilitation of endolithic microbial survival in the hyperarid core of the Atacama Desert by mineral deliquescence. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 113, 10.1029/2007JG000561.
Dickinson, W.W. & Rosen, M.R. 2003. Antarctic permafrost: an analogue for water and diagenetic minerals on Mars. Geology, 31, 199202.
Dickson, J.L., Head, J.W., Levy, J.S. & Marchant, D.R. 2013. Don Juan Pond, Antarctica: near-surface CaCl2-brine feeding Earth’s most saline lake and implications for Mars. Scientific Reports, 3, 10.1038/srep01166.
Doran, P.T., McKay, C.P., Clow, G.D., Dana, G.L., Fountain, A.G., Nylen, T. & Lyons, W.B. 2002. Valley floor climate observations from the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica, 1986–2000. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 107, 10.1029/2001JD002045.
Edgar, G. & Swan, W.O. 1922. The factors determining the hygroscopic properties of soluble substances. I. The vapor pressures of saturated solutions. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 44, 570577.
Fountain, A.G., Nylen, T.H., Monaghan, A., Basagic, H.J. & Bromwich, D. 2009. Snow in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. International Journal of Climatology, 30, 633642.
Gooseff, M.N., Barrett, J.E. & Levy, J.S. 2013. Shallow groundwater systems in a polar desert, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Hydrogeology Journal, 21, 171183.
Gough, R.V., Chevrier, V.F., Baustian, K.J., Wise, M.E. & Tolbert, M.A. 2011. Laboratory studies of perchlorate phase transitions: support for metastable aqueous perchlorate solutions on Mars. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 312, 371377.
Hagedorn, B., Sletten, R.S., Hallet, B., McTigue, D.F. & Steig, E.J. 2010. Ground ice recharge via brine transport in frozen soils of Victoria Valley, Antarctica: insights from modeling δ18O and δD profiles. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 74, 435448.
Harris, K.J., Carey, A.E., Lyons, W.B., Welch, K.A. & Fountain, A.G. 2007. Solute and isotope geochemistry of subsurface ice melt seeps in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 119, 548555.
Keys, J.R. 1979. Distribution of salts in the McMurdo region, with analyses from the saline discharge area at the terminus of Taylor Glacier. University of Wellington, Antarctic Data Series, No. 8, 1 pp.
Levy, J.S., Fountain, A.G., Welch, K.A, Lyons, W.B. 2012. Hypersaline “wet patches” in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Geophysical Research Letters, 39, 10.1029/2012GL050898.
Levy, J., Nolin, A., Fountain, A. & Head, J. 2014. Hyperspectral measurements of wet, dry, and saline soils from the McMurdo Dry Valleys: soil moisture properties from remote sensing. Antarctic Science, 10, 1017/S0954102013000977.
Levy, J.S., Fountain, A.G., Gooseff, M.N., Welch, K.A. & Lyons, W.B. 2011. Water tracks and permafrost in Taylor Valley, Antarctica: extensive and shallow groundwater connectivity in a cold desert ecosystem. Geological Society of America Bulletin, 123, 22952311.
Levy, J., Fountain, A.G., Gooseff, M.N., Barrett, J.E., Vantreese, R, Welch, K.A., Lyons, W.B., Nielsen, U.N. & Wall, D.H. 2013. Water track modification of soil ecosystems in the Lake Hoare basin, Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 10, 1017/S095410201300045X.
Lewis, G.N., Randall, M., Pitzer, K.S. & Brewer, L. 1961. Thermodynamics, 2nd edition. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 723 pp.
Lyons, W.B., Fountain, A., Doran, P., Priscu, J.C., Neumann, K. & Welch, K.A. 2000. Importance of landscape position and legacy: the evolution of the lakes in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Freshwater Biology, 43, 355367.
Lyons, W.B., Welch, K.A., Carey, A.E., Doran, P.T., Wall, D.H., Virginia, R.A., Fountain, A.G., Csatho, B.M. & Tremper, C.M. 2005. Groundwater seeps in Taylor Valley Antarctica: an example of a subsurface melt event. Annals of Glaciology, 40, 200206.
McGinnis, L.D. & Jensen, T.E. 1971. Permafrost-hydrogeologic regimen in two ice-free valleys, Antarctica, from electrical depth sounding. Quaternary Research, 1, 389409.
Nielsen, U.N., Wall, D.H., Adams, B.J., Virginia, R.A., Ball, B.A., Gooseff, M.N. & McKnight, D.M. 2012. The ecology of pulse events: insights from an extreme climatic event in a polar desert ecosystem. Ecosphere, 3, 10.1890/ES11-00325.1.
Robinson, R.A. & Stokes, R.H. 1965. Electrolyte solutions: the measurement and interpretation of conductance, chemical potential, and diffusion in solutions of simple electrolytes. London: Butterworths, 559 pp.
Tang, I.N. & Munkelwitz, H.R. 1993. Composition and temperature dependence of the deliquescence properties of hygroscopic aerosols. Atmospheric Environment - General Topics, A27, 467473.
Toner, J.D. & Sletten, R.S. 2013. The formation of Ca-Cl-rich groundwaters in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica: field measurements and modeling of reactive transport. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 110, 10.1016/j.gca.2013.02.013.
Toner, J.D., Sletten, R.S. & Prentice, M.L. 2013. Soluble salt accumulations in Taylor Valley, Antarctica: implications for paleolakes and Ross Sea Ice Sheet dynamics. Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, 118, 198215.
Welch, K.A., Lyons, W.B., Whisner, C., Gardner, C.B., Gooseff, M.N., McKnight, D.M. & Priscu, J.C. 2010. Spatial variations in the geochemistry of glacial meltwater streams in Taylor Valley, Antarctica. Antarctic Science, 22, 662672.
Wilson, A.T. 1979. Geochemical problems of the Antarctic dry areas. Nature, 280, 205208.
Yang, L., Pabalan, R.T. & Juckett, M.R. 2006. Deliquescence relative humidity measurements using an electrical conductivity method. Journal of Solution Chemistry, 35, 583604.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Antarctic Science
  • ISSN: 0954-1020
  • EISSN: 1365-2079
  • URL: /core/journals/antarctic-science
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
PDF
Supplementary materials

Levy Supplementary Material
Figures

 PDF (326 KB)
326 KB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Levy Supplementary Material
Table

 Unknown (28 KB)
28 KB
VIDEO
Supplementary materials

Levy Supplementary Material
Video

 Video (64.7 MB)
64.7 MB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed