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Soils of Queen Maud Land

Part of the World Soils Book Series book series (WSBS)

Abstract

This chapter describes the soils of Queen Maud Land (QML). This is the part of Antarctica between longitudes 20° W and 45° E. QML is the fourth largest ice-free territory of Antarctica, comprising 3,400 km2 (6.9 % of total ice-free area). The most studied areas of QML in terms of soils include the Sør Rondane Mountains and Schirmacher Oasis (35 km2). QML is underlain by continuous permafrost. The mountains are underlain by thick permafrost; and active layer ranges from 8 to 40 cm in depth to from 30 to 120 cm in depth in the Schirmacher Oasis. The dominant soil taxa include Typic Haploturbels-Haplorthels and Lithic Haploturbels-Haplorthels under moss cover, Typic Aquorthels Haplorthels in soils along lake margins and those influenced by algae, Typic Haploturbels in areas of patterned ground, Typic Haplorthels in dry areas, and Typic and Lithic Anhyorthels-Anhyturbels in the mountains. Soils of Queen Maud Land are less developed than those elsewhere in East Antarctica because they are more distant from the coast and have not been influenced by penguins and other birds.

Keywords

  • Active Layer
  • Organic Horizon
  • Mineral Horizon
  • Moss Cover
  • Snow Patch

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgments

The authors commemorate the inspiration of Russian soil studies in Antarctica––David Gilichinsky. We kindly acknowledge all of the members of the Russian Antarctic Expedition and Antarctic Logistics Central International (ALCI), especially Valery Lukin and Aleksey Turchin, for invaluable help in conducting the investigations. We also thank Dr. Andrey Alekseev and Dr.Veronica Alekseeva for assistance in the investigations of quartz grain analysis and Prof. Sergey Sedov for assistance in the micromorphology researches. Investigations were partly funded by the Russian Fund for Basic Researches (12-04-01815).

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Correspondence to Elya P. Zazovskaya .

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Zazovskaya, E.P., Fedorov-Davydov, D.G., Alekseeva, T.V., Dergacheva, M.I. (2015). Soils of Queen Maud Land. In: Bockheim, J. (eds) The Soils of Antarctica. World Soils Book Series. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-05497-1_3

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