Griffith Taylor's 'palimpsest theory' of the Dry Valleys of Victoria Land, Antarctica

John Pickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Griffith Taylor was the first geomorphologist to work in the Dry Valleys of southern Victoria Land, Antarctica. Following his field work in February 1911, he proposed a multistage model in which earlier cirque erosion was later swamped by expanding outlet glaciers. Subsequently these glaciers retreated leaving the present form of the valleys. The topography retained the imprint of each episode, hence his name 'palimpsest theory'. I summarise later research and compare Taylor's theory with current views.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-67
Number of pages15
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • Antarctica
  • Dry Valleys
  • Exploration
  • Geomorphology
  • Glaciation
  • Griffith Taylor
  • Scientific history


Dive into the research topics of 'Griffith Taylor's 'palimpsest theory' of the Dry Valleys of Victoria Land, Antarctica'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this