Abandoned machinery, oil drums and
scrap metal litter the landscape around the old Soviet research
station 'Leningradskaya' in Oates Land, abandoned in 1992.
Partly because access to this unlikely citadel
of an Antarctic Base is by helicopter only and partly because
it is so remote and difficult to get (it's 20 miles inland and
on top of a 1,000 ft nunatak) a clean up would be very expensive.
Instead it remains, like Scott and Shackleton's Huts, a frozen
time capsule of man's impact on the fragile Antarctic environment.
The problem however with more modern abandoned
bases is that liquid fuels and lubricating oils (rather than
coal used as fuel for the earlier bases) are likely to leak
and contaminate the environment, something that is not so much
of an issue with the earlier bases.
More advanced and involved scientific procedures
also mean that there may be chemical waste on abandoned bases,
plus the other hazardous paraphernalia of modern life such as
old leaky batteries, cleaning chemicals etc. etc.
Picture courtesy of Mike Usher
- Mike went on a Ross Sea expedition on board the Kapitan Khlebnikov
You can purchase a selection of Mike's pictures