Mineral apatite is the ultimate source of the essential nutrient phosphorus to the soil ecosystem. In order to assess the biogeochemical weathering of apatite grains in the dry, basic soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, we collected nine surface soil samples from the Fryxell and Bonney Basins of Taylor Valley. After separating more than 50 individual soil apatite grains from each sample, we used scanning electron microscopy to quantify the morphology and surface etching of apatite grains to determine the degree of weathering.
This data set includes the deployment of anchored thermistors Lake Vanda, Wright Valley, as part of an Antarctica New Zealand project. Thermistors were positioned at the sediment-water interface and 10 cm above the lake bottom within the thermocline at 24 m depth.