As part of a geochemical study of the Commonwealth Glacier in Taylor Valley, Antarctica, two 3-meter snow pits were dug in the accumulation zone and analyzed for major ions by ion chromatography. This dataset shows the mean annual atmospheric flux of chloride, sulfate, nitrate, and calcium to the Commonwealth Glacier. Determination of the atmospheric flux of these ions to the glacier surface aids in assessing the chemical composition of precipitation to the McMurdo Dry Valleys and the role of glaciers in the geochemical cycles of the region.
The chemistry of various glaciers (Canada, Commonwealth, Howard, Suess, Taylor) in Taylor Valley was measured for the following analytes between 1993 and 1997: Alkalinity, Ca, Cl, F, K, Mg, Na, NO3, Si, and SO4.
To examine temporal and spatial variability in snow chemistry during the 2000-2001 austral summer, snow samples were collected from the accumulation zones of Canada, Commonwealth, and Rhone Glaciers, located in Taylor Valley in the McMurdo Dry Valleys region of Antarctica. Snowpits were excavated to a depth of 2 meters at each location and samples were collected using a depth interval of 3 cm utilizing clean sampling techniques. Snow density was measured in the field at the time of sample collection. Samples were analyzed for major ions in the Crary Lab at McMurdo Station.