Comparison of soils from Scott Base (site with human activity) with baseline data taken from pristine sites around the Ross Dependency (without human activity) found elevated levels of most heavy metals. Where these heavy metals are located and how they are mobilized was investigated by taking soil samples from pits dug to frozen ground level (where practicable) along traverses through Scott Base at approximately 50 m spacing’s (15 pits). Samples were taken from a wall of the pit using plastic tools. The depth interval over which the samples were taken varied from 2 cm at the surface, to a maximum of 10 cm, on the assumption that contaminants are likely to be airborne and concentrate on the surface and near surface. Samples were analysed for heavy metal content.
The Ross Sea Region Soils database, run by Landcare Rsearch, New Zealand, stores information on soil site and soil pit horizon data from 35 years of soil studies by the investigators and their associates. There are >900 sites in the database but they are currently not sorted
The existing soil samples (Site 673-696,703-704, 736-755, 757-761, 780-781, 833-844) have been sorted and stored at the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science, Lower Hutt, New Zealand. All soil records are on the Ross Sea Region Soils database, Landcare Research.
Sheppard, D.S. Campbell, I.B. Claridge, G.G.C. Report on the New Zealand Antarctic Programme Event K105 1993/94: pollutant transport and monitoring in soils and meltwaters on Ross Island and Victoria Land. Wellington: Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences. 1994.[Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences science report 94/7.]
Sheppard, D.S. Claridge, G.G.C. Campbell, I.B. Metal contamination of soils at Scott Base, Antarctica. Applied geochemistry 15: 513-530, 2000.