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Fast Geochemistry

MCM research has shown that despite cold temperatures, the rates at which minerals are broken down in the sediments of Antarctic streams are among the most rapid weathering rates on Earth and enhance the supply of key nutrients to downstream ecosystems.

Maurice, P. A., D. M. McKnight, L. Leff, J. E. Fulghum, and M. Gooseff (2002), Direct observations of aluminosilicate weathering in the hyporheic zone of an Antarctic Dry Valley stream, Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 66(8), 1335-1347. Gooseff, M. N., D. M. McKnight, W. B. Lyons, and A. E. Blum (2002), Weathering reactions and hyporheic exchange controls on stream water chemistry in a glacial meltwater stream in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Water Resources Research, 38(12), WR000834. Nezat, C. A., W. B. Lyons, and K. A. Welch (2001), Chemical weathering in streams of a polar desert (Taylor Valley, Antarctica), Geological Society of America Bulletin, 113(11), 1401-1408.
Dr. W. Berry Lyons
Dr. Michael N. Gooseff
Melt water streams of the McMurdo Dry Valleys connect glaciers to lakes carrying dilute glacial melt water that exchanges through streambed sediments dissolving them very rapidly.
M. Gooseff, Penn State University
Comparison of published silica weathering rates for several watersheds in the continental United States, separated by main bedrock mineral, and the bulk weathering rate from studies in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (MCM LTER). Note the log scale of the y-axis.
Data reported in Gooseff et al., 2002.



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