Abandoned Fuel Drums - Leningradskaya

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abandoned oil drums Leningradskaya base Oates Land

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.

Photo; © Mike Usher - Pictures from an icebreaker cruise to Eastern Antarctica.