The water content in the unfrozen soils and the active zone was compared at different times of the year (January 1990 with November 1991) to determine the extent or significance of soil water changes. At two sites, soil horizons in the active zone were sampled and moisture content determined to enable a comparison to be made with samples collected one year prior (Jan 1990). During the period from late Nov/early Dec, active thaw commenced and many of the small snow patches began to thaw. The extent to which soils became moistened and the rate at which they dried was observed. The soil was sampled for a period of 14 days along two transects, one parallel and the other at right angles to the wetting front.
The Ross Sea Region Soils database, run by Landcare Research, New Zealand, stores information on soil site and soil pit horizon data from 35 years of soil studies by the investigators and their associates. There are >900 sites in the database but they are currently not sorted.