A regional chemical boundary termed the ‘salt line’, in the Vestfold Hills of East Antarctica, has been investigated using X-ray diffraction and electron probe analyses of surficial salts, and conductivity of surficial sediments. West of the salt line, halite and thenardite are abundant. These salts are derived from dispersal of marine aerosols, saturation of sediment by seawater during postglacial marine transgression, and glacial dispersal of salt-saturated fjord bottom sediments. East of the salt line, subglacial calcium carbonates and salts formed by chemical weathering of their substrates occur. Chemically and morphologically diverse minerals form the weathering products. They include two minerals not found previously in Antarctica, dypingite and hydromagnesite, and the first confirmed occurrence of brushite.