Investigation of the effect of elevation and topography on soil biota and soil properties was part of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project. The number of soil organisms (nematodes, rotifers and tardigrades), divided by species, sex and maturity was monitored at 3 elevations, initially in Taylor Valley (1993) then Garwood and Miers Valleys (2012) in order to accomplish this.
In 1994, 16 stream transects were established in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica 63 beginning a long term data set characterizing microbial communities and channel geometry. The 64 transects were established to record microbial mat dynamics and stream geomorphology. To accomplish this, the transects were surveyed for points of interest outside and inside the stream channel. Beginning in 2010 the microbial surveys received ground based LiDAR support. This allowed for greater resolution in mapping and analyzing stream morphology than traditional surveying methods.