Shapefiles for glacier, stream channel, and watershed boundaries in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica (2023)


This data package includes shapefiles for selected glacier, stream watershed, and stream channel boundaries in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. A combination of satellite imagery and digital elevation models were used to delineate watershed and stream channel outlines, while glaciers were outlined by hand. Watershed boundaries provide an estimate of the overall topographic contributing area for each stream in Fryxell Basin, whereas stream channel boundaries provide a topographic area estimate for stream channel, beyond the wetted margin, for each stream.

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A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) (Levy et al., 2014) was used to delineate selected watersheds across the Taylor and Wright Valleys in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica, with most efforts focused on the Lake Fryxell Basin of Taylor Valley. In ArcGIS Pro, the Watershed tool uses the “pour points” (or lowest point in the stream channel before it flows into Lake Fryxell) to assess the total contributing area above it. Each stream watershed was outlined into a polygon and assessed for total watershed area. The ice-free watershed area was created by visually outlining and removing the glacier areas. Using the Flow Accumulation tool, along with the slope and hillshade rasters created from the DEM, individual stream channels were outlined and exported as polygons.

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This work was supported by the US National Science Foundation grants #OPP-1637708 and #OPP-2224760 for Long Term Ecological Research.


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