The physics and chemistry of the many lakes and ponds in the McMurdo Dry Valleys was investigated in the 1963-64 field season. Previous work on Lakes Vanda and Bonney in the Wright and Taylor Valleys respectively found that the lakes were density stratified owing to a high salt concentration which increased downwards and that temperatures well above the mean annual air temperature existed. It was ... proposed to extend measurements of salt concentration and temperature to other lakes and to take measurements more intensively in those already investigated. Measurements of water temperature, spectral irradiance (amount of sunlight), density and salt concentration were measured by drilling a hole through the surface ice and lowering instruments into the lakes. Water samples were obtained from various depths by pumping water through a hose. The lakes that were investigated include Lake Fryxell, Lake Chad, Lake Bonney and Lake Diana in the Taylor Valley, Lake Vanda, Lake Canopus and Don Juan Pond in the Wright Valley. Samples of inflow waters were also taken from all the lakes visited. Soil samples were collected at intervals along vertical lines up the hillsides above Lake Bonney and Lake Vanda in an attempt to correlate the chemical composition of the soil with the position of fossil lake levels above the present level. In addition, two members went to the South Pole Station and investigated the chemical composition of the polar snow. Measurements were made of the chemical constituents to determine how much nitrogen is fixed by auroral air glow and solar particulate bombardment.
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