Project Information
Dynamics of Aeolian Processes in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica
This project characterizes wind-driven sediment transport in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of
Antarctica during both winter and summer periods. Wind is the primary sculptor of
terrain in this region and winter measurements, which have never been undertaken, are
essential for determining the frequency and magnitude of transport events. The projects
goal is to determine if the existing landforms represent relics from past climate regimes
or contemporary processes. The project involves two major activities: (1) dynamic and
time-integrated measurements of sand transport to characterize the seasonal behavior,
frequency, and magnitude at four sites and (2) detailed surveying of an unusual
wind-formed surface feature, the gravel megaripples found in the Wright Valley. In
addition to interpreting Dry Valleys geomorphology, these data will provide a more
quantitative assessment of wind-aided distribution of nutrients, plants, and animals to
terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems throughout the Dry Valleys. This research will also
provide quantitative information on the effects of extreme cold and low humidity on
transport thresholds and rates, which can be applied to cold desert environments of the
Arctic, Antarctic, and Mars.
Person Role
Gillies, John Investigator
Antarctic Earth Sciences Award # 0636218
AMD - DIF Record(s)
Data Management Plan
None in the Database
Product Level:
Not provided
  1. Gillies, J. A., Nickling, W. G., Tilson, M., & Furtak-Cole, E. (2012). Wind-formed gravel bed forms, Wright Valley, Antarctica. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 117(F4), n/a–n/a. (doi:10.1029/2012jf002378)
Platforms and Instruments

This project has been viewed 4 times since May 2019 (based on unique date-IP combinations)