The Australian Antarctic Division has been involved in exceptional soil remediation works at Casey Station. Fuel spills have occurred at the site over the years. Very large volumes of fuel must be delivered and stored to support human activities at the station over long periods of time.

Antarctica is a very unique location at which to conduct geotechnical activities. Natural materials—even contaminated ones—cannot be removed from the continent. Less than one percent of the continent, in fact, has soils that are free of ice, which makes every cubic inch of soil that much more important.

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One of the fascinating solutions being advanced on the continent is the use geosynthetic liners and covers to encapsulate contaminated soil in biopiles. The piles enable native soil microorganisms to break down the contaminants during the few warm months in which the microbes are active.

The microbes have been incredibly effective, as documented by the video above.

The mega-pile design measures 20 x 40 m and holds 750 cubic meters of contaminated soil.

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