Analyses of soils will focus on their role in shaping the distribution of biological habitats within the Antarctic terrestrial environment.
Providing detailed, empirically based soil knowledge for the ice free areas of the RSR is difficult because of the time and cost needed to dig and analyse soil pits. We will use the existing soil pit data and digital soil mapping (DSM) to provide soil information for the entire RSR. DSM creates spatial soil information (available carbon, pH) by combining data from field and laboratory observations with environmental covariates in a quantitative model. We will also use the soil spectra information collected in Research Aim 1.1, to characterise and map soil variations through analysing the information content of a RSR soil spectra collection. While used in other parts of the world, the approaches tested, have not been previously applied at an Antarctic regional scale.