Report on the New Zealand Antarctic Programme Event K091 1992/93 : pollutant transport and monitoring in soils and waters on Ross Island and Vanda Station

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Sheppard, D.S.; Campbell, I.B.; Claridge, G.C.C.; Deely, J.M. 1993 Report on the New Zealand Antarctic Programme Event K091 1992/93 : pollutant transport and monitoring in soils and waters on Ross Island and Vanda Station. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 93/09 23 p.

Abstract: The activities undertaken while in Antarctica were of three sorts. The first pertains to the objective of compiling a set of baseline data for the composition of meltwaters in the Ross Dependency, with particular concentration on the levels of ultra trace heavy metals in waters remote from significant or current human activity. Samples were taken using rigorously applied measures to avoid sample contamination from pools, ponds, lakes and flowing waters, at Cape Evans, Cape Royds, Marble Point and in the Wright Valley. Other sites were unable to be sampled as planned as a consequence of the restriction of helicopter hours by NZAP. The second aspect of the programme was the sampling of waters, using the same rigor, at sites intensively occupied by NZAP, that is, about Scott Base and Vanda Station. The analyses of these samples well be compared with the baseline data. The third aspect of the programme was concerned with determining the nature and extent of contamination resulting from human activity, and to continue measurements of the mobility of applied contaminants, at Scott Base and, more intensively, at Vanda Station. Over thirty sample pits were dug and on average, about four samples were taken per pit, mostly on the basis of the soil horizons but also specific features noticed. In one area, liquid water was encountered in association with significant organic matter noted at the greywater disposal sites. Samples were taken at sites identified from a survey of previous Vanda Station leaders, and from other sites intended to define the baselines. Analyses of these samples and any report will await the arrival of samples in our laboratory and resolution as to who will pay for the analysis, the FoRST grant that we have received being inadequate. Additional work achieved included the collection of samples for further work on permafrost and soil water content investigation, measurements from gauges at Vanda Station and Heimdall Glacier for T. Chinn, baseline assessment for comprehensive environmental evaluation at Cape Roberts, and an environmental impact evaluation at Arrival Heights (auth)