As part of the 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 from the stream waters.
Blood Falls, a subglacial discharge from the Taylor Glacier, Antarctica provides an example of the diverse physical and chemical habitats available for life in the polar desert of the McMurdo Dry Valleys. Geochemical analysis shows that Blood Falls outflow resembles concentrated seawater remnant from the Pliocene intrusion of marine waters combined with products of weathering. The result is an iron-rich, salty seep at the terminus of Taylor Glacier, which is subject to episodic releases into permanently ice-covered Lake Bonney.