Dr. Michael Poage, Department of Geoscience, co-authored a chapter on the similarities and differences between the soils in the dry valleys of Antarctica and those found on Mars.
This chapter reviews and presents new research describing patterns of soil geochemistry and hydrology in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, as well as possible mechanisms behind their formation. The authors briefly assess similarities and differences in the Dry Valley and Martian soil environments, and describe the contemporary and paleo-influences of surface water on soil geochemistry and distribution and activity of soil biota. They show that spatial variation in surface soil chemistry of the dry valleys can be used to interpret landscape history, and to provide context for the potential interpretation of ancient water bodies on Mars and their role in shaping the current extant landforms and surface geochemistry of the Red Planet.
Barrett, J.E., Poage, M.A., Gooseff, M.A. and Takacs-Vesbach, C. (2010) The legacy of aqueous environments on soils of the McMurdo Dry Valleys: Contexts for future exploration of Martian soils: in P.T. Doran, W.B. Lyons, and D.M. McKnight, eds., Life in Antarctic Deserts and other Cold Dry Environments: Astrobiological Analogues, Cambridge University Press, Astrobiology Series.