Aqueous geochemistry as an indicator of chemical weathering on southeastern Alexander Island, Antarctica1
Chemical alteration of rock in the Antarctic is considered to be less dominant than physical weathering processes. The research presented in this discussion represents investigations to determine the extent of contemporary chemical weathering in an area that hitherto has not been investigated. A glacial outwash stream on southeastern Alexander Island was investigated to determine the extent of active chemical weathering. Data indicate that solution of minerals does take place during the Antarctic summer when water is present. Contrary to studies elsewhere in the Antarctic, there is little evidence of maritime or biological influences on the observed weathering regime. Although chemical weathering is active, its relative importance compared to that of physical weathering could not be determined.