In January 2001, we surveyed streams and ponds above 300 m asl in Taylor Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica. One pond was examined in detail. Organic materials covered nearly 100% of the adjacent soil to 5-20 m from the shore, with intermittent patches to 80 m. Organic matter averaged 257 gC/m2, and totaled 1388 kg organic C on the soil around the pond. Soil moisture content (0.56 to 12.41%) decreased with distance from shore, whereas pH (7.8 to 10.8) increased with distance. Electrical conductivity was lowest in the soils less than 10 m from the pond (416 +- 94 uS/cm).
Increases in soil moisture from snow packs may influence distribution and abundances of soil invertebrates. In this study, two snow fences were erected in Lake Fryxell and Lake Bonney basins to trap snow and examine the effects of increased snow pack on soil physical, chemical and biological properties.