Physical Properties of Antarctic Soils and Permafrost

The physical properties of Antarctic soils and permafrost are known from numerous studies since the 1960s, but principally from those of Ugolini (1964), Claridge (1965), Campbell and Claridge (1975, 1987, 2006), Claridge and Campbell (1977),

Bockheim (1979), Blume et al. (1997) and Campbell et al. (1998). The two main pedological processes that operate in Antarctic soils are oxidation and salinization. Coarse particle reduction takes place mainly at the soil surface, with surface clast size becoming smaller through granular disintegration and abrasion. Within the soil, coarse particles are nearly always angular and unstained, indicating low cryo-turbic activity. The organic regime is everywhere insignificant, owing to the paucity of biological communities.

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