Enhanced bedrock weathering in association with late-lying snowpatches: Evidence from Livingston Island, Antarctica
An indication of the extent of weathering on different aspects of rock outcrops on Livingston Island, Antarctica, was obtained by means of a Schmidt hammer, a cone indenter and measurement of weathering rind thickness. Results show that weathering, particularly chemical weathering, is enhanced on the lee side of outcrops where snow accumulates as a result of prolonged wetting by the melting snow. Rock moisture and temperature data indicate that the south-facing, snow-accumulation side of obstacles have high rock moisture levels and maintain relatively high temperatures. Whilst chemical weathering is greater on the leeward side of outcrops, mechanical processes are greater on the windward side. The presence of late-lying snow thus appears to exert a strong influence on weathering.