Contamination of soils about Vanda Station, Antarctica

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Sheppard, D.S.; Campbell, I.B.; Claridge, G.G.C.; Deely, J.M. 1994 Contamination of soils about Vanda Station, Antarctica. Lower Hutt: Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences science report 94/20 140 p.

Abstract: The rising level of Lake Vanda is expected to flood the site of Vanda Station, a New Zealand Antarctic Programme base in the Wright Valley, South Victoria Land, Antarctica. The Station was constructed in 1968 and has been relatively intensively occupied since then. The activities at the station have resulted in spillages onto the ground surface and other sources of contaminations of the soils. The nature and extent of the contaminations has been assessed by surveying past Vanda Station personnel to obtain recollections of the nature, quantities, and the locations of accidental and deliberate spillages onto the land surfaces at the Station. Guided by the results of this survey 33 soil sample pits were excavated in the 1992/93 summer to determine the nature, extent, and penetration of the contaminants. A number of the pits were excavated where contamination was not expected in order to provide baseline data for comparative purposes. Areas of contamination by washing water (greywater), fuel oils, photographic chemicals, and trace metals were detected and the contaminants quantified. The quantities of significant chemical contaminants of those determined in the top 10 cm of affected soils over the site has been assessed as being: Ag 41 mg; Cd 11.3 g; Cr 1.3 g; Cu 156 g; Pb 542 g; Zn 365 g; P-PO4 11.3 kg;. Cd and Pb are the contaminants which are similar to or which exceed the calculated annual input from the Onyx River to Lake Vanda. (auth)