This photograph highlights the oxidized surface of diorite boulders, which fall from the ice at the base of the Mullins Glacier in Beacon Valley, Antarctica when the ice moves directly from a solid state into a gas state, without becoming a liquid in between (a process called sublimation). The particular features (morphology) of the varnish and the desert pavement of this unique environment are remarkably similar to the classic desert pavements of the hot deserts of the world, which suggests that despite the extreme differences in climate that the processes at work in this desert are the same. A desert is a desert, perhaps.
Description by Martha Cary Eppes, after the description on imaggeo.egu.eu.
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