Beacon Valley

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Beacon Valley Camp
Field Camp
A helicopter prepares to land at Beacon Valley camp.
A helicopter prepares to land at Beacon Valley camp.
Location of Beacon Valley in Antarctica
Location of Beacon Valley in Antarctica
Beacon Valley Camp
Location of Beacon Valley in Antarctica
Coordinates: 77°51′32″S 160°34′26″E / 77.859°S 160.574°E / -77.859; 160.574
Country United States
Location in AntarcticaBeacon Valley
Victoria Land
Antarctica
Established2004 (2004)
TypeSeasonal
StatusOperational

Beacon Valley (77°49′S 160°39′E / 77.817°S 160.650°E / -77.817; 160.650Coordinates: 77°49′S 160°39′E / 77.817°S 160.650°E / -77.817; 160.650) is an ice-free valley between Pyramid Mountain and Beacon Heights, in Victoria Land. It was mapped by the British Antarctic Expedition, 1910–13, and named by the Victoria University of Wellington Antarctic Expedition (VUWAE) (1958–59) after Beacon Heights.

Named features[edit]

Beacon Valley includes several smaller geographic features, named during various scientific surveys.

Astrobiological characteristics[edit]

Researchers trek through Antarctica's Beacon Valley, one of the most Mars-like places on Earth. Image credit: NASA

The central region of Beacon valley is considered to be one of the best terrestrial analogues for the current conditions on Mars. There is snowdrift and limited melting around the edges and occasionally in the central region, but for the most part, moisture is only found as thin films of brine around permafrost structures. It has slightly alkaline salt rich soil.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile Bluff". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  2. ^ "Horizon Bluff". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  3. ^ "Rector Ridge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  4. ^ "Vestal Ridge". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  5. ^ McKay, Christopher P. (2008). "Snow recurrence sets the depth of dry permafrost at high elevations in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica" (PDF). Antarctic Science. 21 (01): 89. doi:10.1017/S0954102008001508. ISSN 0954-1020.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ The Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute, The Open University (5 December 2012). "TN2: The Catalogue of Planetary Analogues, section 1.6.3" (PDF). Under ESA contract: 4000104716/11/NL/AF.