This data set includes the New Zealand National soils database, a comprehensive collection of data
relating to Antarctic soils, permafrost, and frozen ground conditions. Data are from about 800 sites
over the length of the Transantarctic Mountains to the Ellsworth Mountains, and have been gathered
since about 1960. Most data are concentrated in the McMurdo Dry Valley system. The database includes
generalized and detailed investigations, although the data available for individual sites varies according
to reasons for sampling. Some sites have long-term measurements (1 week to more than 3 years).
Nearly all sites have basic site and soil description observations, but the analytical data vary and have
not been completed for some sites. Data include site number, reason sampled, date recorded, photo
record, authors, latitude/longitude, locality, site description, altitude, aspect, slope, geological
description, soil material, estimated mean annual temperature (MAT), soil temperature, climate zone,
soil moisture status, biological record, patterned ground, surface weathering, previous disturbance,
sample availability, soil description, soil weathering stage, frozen ground depth, frozen ground type,
clay mineralogy, soil chemistry and salt content, soil particle size, trace elements and heavy metals,
active layer and permafrost water content. Later sites have more physical data with a focus on
Plans are presently underway to add photographic images that will include landscape and soil profile
images for most of the sites recorded in the database.