Name details

McMurdo Dry Valleys

McMurdo Dry Valleys (The name as it would appear in a gazetteer)

McMurdo Dry Valleys  (The name as it would appear on a map)

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United States Gazetteer Id 128722

Feature type: None recorded.


This name originates from United States of America. It is part of the United States Gazetteer and the SCAR Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica.

Names that other countries have for this feature:


A convenient name for a geographic area, 120 mi long and 50 mi wide, encompassing the largest assemblage of ice-free features in Antarctica. The area occupies the S portion of Scott Coast, Victoria Land, and is roughly defined as extending from 7630S to 7830S, between 16000E and 16430E. A variety of feature types occur within the area including mountains, ranges, glaciers, lakes, and ice-free valleys, the latter generally referred to as "dry valleys" following R.F. Scott's usage of 1907. Three concentrations of ice-free areas are notable: in the N, Alatna Valley and other ice-free valleys are associated with Convoy Range; the main central sector is bounded by Saint Johns Range, Quartermain Mountains, and Kukri Hills and includes Victoria Valley, Barwick Valley, Balham Valley, McKelvey Valley, Wright Valley, the elevated valleys of the Olympus Range and Asgard Range, the Pearse Valley, Taylor Valley, and the valleys in Quartermain Mountains; in the extreme SE, Garwood Valley, Marshall Valley, Miers Valley, Hidden Valley, Pyramid Trough, and Roaring Valley lie near the coast between Royal Society Range and Koettlitz Glacier. Much scientific interest has focused on this area because extensive sections of bedrock are exposed to study. Parts of the area were visited by British expeditions led by Capt. Robert F. Scott (1901-04 and 1910-13), who referred to Taylor Valley, as well as Beacon Valley and Pyramid Trough (named later), as "dry valleys." In 1986, the US-ACAN recommended the name McMurdo Dry Valleys from among several informal names which were then in use. The name is in accord with the historical use of the term "dry valleys" in this area, with the fact that the ice-free valleys are the salient characteristic of the area as a whole, and with the situation of this feature adjacent to McMurdo Sound and McMurdo Ice Shelf.

Named For


77° 30' 00.0" S
Unknown precision
162° 00' 00.0" E
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Not recorded
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