As part of the new Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) project in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, a systematic aqueous geochemical sampling program has been undertaken. A series of terrestrial water samples have been collected and analyzed for major ion chemistry by ion chromatography. The concentrations of ions cover a wide range of total dissolved solids (TDS) from relatively pristine glacier ice to hypersaline lake waters.
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.