Quantifying long-term geomorphology of Antarctic streams
MS: University of Colorado Boulder, 2015.
In 1994, 16 stream transects were established in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica. The purposes of these transects were to establish a record of microbial mat dynamics and stream geomorphology. The purpose of this study was to overlap the traditional methods of surveying with LiDAR of the entire stream transect to be able to continue the microbial study. The streams in general have not changed significantly during the 20 year record with the exception of two steep gradient streams. Relative bed change was plotted against ash free dry mass of microbial mats sampled to determine resilience of mats. Four microbial mats were studied; green, black, orange, and red. They differed greatly in adaptability. Green microbial mats were not often found in areas with any significant bed change. Orange mats conversely were found in the most dynamic parts of the stream bed.