Site Information

Site number:
Date recorded:
Reason Sampled:
Soil weathering examination
The Darwin Mountains, approximately 4km SSE of the Midnight Plateau ice sheet; on the lower slopes of a narrow valley and on the southern side; on sloping and hummocky very bouldery moraine topography towards the centre of a patterned ground unit
1200 m
8 °
Location Data
Observer IBC GGC
Latitude Longitude DMS 79° 59' S 156° 23' E 79° 59' S 156° 23' E
Latitude Longitude DD -79.983 156.383 -79.983 156.383
Latitude longitude precision DD 0.008 0.008 0.008 0.008
Locality Hatherton Glacier, Darwin Mountains, Transantarctic Mountains
Survey United States Geological Survey 1966; 1:250,000 Carlyon Glacier, Antarctica


Soil climate zone:
Central Mountain
Estimated mean annual temperature:
-30 °C
Frozen ground depth:
42 cm
Frozen type:
Hard ice-cemented
Frozen comment:


Geological setting:
Local rocks are Ferrar Dolerite; the lower slopes to the south of Midnight Plateau have scattered sandstone erratics indicating a former higher ice level; at lower elevation distinct moraines and till deposits include granite erratics; these indicate up-valley ice and till movement as the nearest granitic rocks are further to the east; the till at this site represents a later up-valley ice event than that of the higher elevation granitic till near site 344
Patterned ground:
Hummocky broad nets 10-15m diameter with mounds up to 1.5m
Surface weathering or surface features:
Granite clasts are moderately disaggregated; sandstone and dolerite clasts are moderately to strongly stained and partly rounded on edges; upstanding boulders to 1.2m; some splitting and weathering rhind exfoliation; slight cavernous weathering of sandstone clasts and some case hardening


Soil parent material:
Bouldery till from mixed dolerite, sandstone and granite sources
Previous disturbance:
Soil weathering stage:
6 4 (Campbell & Claridge 1975)
Soil moisture status:
Scattered small snow patches but no thaw or soil moistening observed
Biological activity:
Nil observed
Profile Description
446a -3 – 0 cm surface boulders and cobbly granular sand; rocks mainly angular and moderately to non stained,
446b 0 – 3 cm brown (7.5YR 5/4) sandy cobble gravel; weakly cohesive; rock particles angular to subangular, weakly to moderately stained and some moderately altered; distinct boundary,
446c 3 – 10 cm yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) stony gravel with some small browner oxidised patches; moderately cohesive; few to many diffuse salts; rock particles angular to subangular, weakly stained and some weakly altered; distinct boundary,
446d 10 – 23 cm yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) sandy gravel; loose; a few salt flecks; rock particles angular and non to weakly stained; a few ghosts and some bouldery clasts partly crumbled; indistinct boundary,
446e 23 – 42 cm yellowish brown (10YR 5/6) bouldery sandy gravel; loose to weakly cohesive; rock particles subangular and unstained; sharp boundary,
446f 42 – 45 cm yellowish brown (10YR 5/4) ice-cemented ground

Sample Data

Physical Data
Sample nameDepth descriptionTop (cm)Base (cm)Bulk DensityDry Bulk DensityGravimetric MoistureVol. Moisture (BD=2)
446a 3-0cm -3.0 0.0 No
446b 0-3cm 0.0 3.0 No
446c 3-10cm 3.0 10.0 No
446d 10-23cm 10.0 23.0 No
446e 23-42cm 23.0 42.0 No
446f 42-45cm 42.0 45.0 No
Particle size distribution
Sample name< 2 mm2 - 0.5 mm0.5 - 0.25 mm0.25 - 0.1 mm0.1 - 0.05 mm0.05 - 0.02 mm0.02 - 0.002 mm< 0.002 mmFe2O3CaCO3Notes
Clay Mineralogy
446a :
446b :
446c :
446d :
446e :
446f :
National Soil Archive Samples
Sample nameNSA Sample IdContainer typeFraction type
446a M22/2797 medium coarse
446a M22/2798 White lid small fine
446a M22/7667 Glass vial metal lid
446b M22/2799 White lid small coarse
446b M22/2800 medium fine
446b M22/7668 Glass vial metal lid
446c M22/2801 White lid small coarse
446c M22/2802 White lid small fine
446c M22/7669 Glass vial metal lid
446d M22/2803 medium coarse
446d M22/2804 medium fine
446d M22/7670 Glass vial metal lid
446e M22/2805 White lid small coarse
446e M22/2806 medium fine
446e M22/7671 Glass vial metal lid
446f M22/2807 White lid small coarse
446f M22/2808 White lid small fine
446f M22/7672 Glass vial metal lid


Photo record: