Friday, January 14, 2011

21 All about the "Dirty Crew", melt, Antarctic haircuts and thanks Mrs Davis.....

Hi friends,

as i have been getting a fair bit of flack of recent about the lack of work that it looks like Ive been doing so i figured i will go into it a this time to show you some work and there is sooooo much im going to beak it into the next two blogs.

Many of you think all we do down here is have fun, well that is true but we do actually do work while we are having fun. Since resupply i have been assigned to a science project which is studying a contaminated site that last year i was involved a little bit with the project but this year i have been assigned to to boffin central. So Dr Professor Goldie has been born................



Yep that's me believe it or not in a Dr Bec's lab coat that was about 15 sizes too small working in the lab.
Anyway 10 years ago during a fuel transfer to the main generator tanks there was a fuel spill which totalled some 6000L. In the years since there has been alot of work done on this area in order to rehabilitate the area. One smarty pants that was instrumental in what has been done was Dr Kate and her barrier that basically filters the melt water and traps the contaminants in the filter materials. This material was replaced last year and that was the extent of my involvement. Below is a picture of the general area covered in winter snow. The picture was taken last year but the amount of snow coverage was about the same this year.


The tank just above the green building that you can just make out is the general vicinity of the spill and it runs from there across the road up as high as where the cables trays run then down to the grey 20'container. Just behind the container there are 5 cage pallets filled with all sorts of wonderful filtering material which until the summer melt would remain frozen in the ground fully wired up with sensors reporting back to Kingston Hobart.

Earlier this season i cleared the snow from the area within days Tim called from Kingston to enquire if anyone had changed anything as he had noticed it in the temperature reports from the sensors. In the next blog ill get Dr Kate to explain to you all what all about her filtration system thingy (science term of course) is and how it works!

So this year it is a ambitious project where all the contaminated material will be excavated and put into lined bunded areas where all sorts additives will be mixed through in an effort to help clean the soil. Work on the bunds has already been done and will be complete this week ready for material to be put into it next week. So next blog ill get Dr Bec to explain all about it and get some video of it all happening!

This is the area which ultimately will be 4 bunded lined heaps of contaminated soil which all the experiments will be conducted on.................



In the bunded areas there is going to be several layers of different materials consisting of plastic, geotec matting and a clay liner (without getting into the fancy pants names).


But when excavating of the contaminated area commenceswe are going to need to be able to test the soil to make sure we are pulling out all the affected soil and not miss any. So Dr Bec explains the GC and no that's no the Gold Coast its a Gas Chromatography.............


Then there was arts and crafts with Dr Bec as well which was fun/sweat shop type work but fun none the less.


Then there was the the data collection with Tim the only non Dr of the team as i am a Dr Professor and all!


Now a little change of work! The melt is upon is and with several positive temperature days water is flowing like streams all over the place. Some places for melt to collect is good others not so good. In the picture below there is one big wet patch visible but there is actually another on the left of the red building AKA the red shed (living accommodation building). That one that is covered with snow is actually the melt lake that feeds the station with our water. Normally there is about 9000L of potable water drained off it a day. That one feeds into the one that is visible and it all feeds right at the bottom of screen. Now that would be ok however that is the main/only vehicle entry and exit point for the station and having it closed wouldn't be so much fun. 


Sorry for the long winded explanation on that one but as you'll see in the video i did try and explain that but as i was trying to explain it the wind was blowing at about 55 knots or 101kph and my voice was kind of drowned out by the wind.


Breaking through................


Sorry Brad but it had to be done.........here is Amber showing her well showing the no showing well cutting poor Brads hair. 


Sorry Brad..............................LOL


Thanks to Mrs Davis i found out why Rowdy didn't give me as much curry as i thought he would on New Years.........................



I know Cliff, I'm going to pay for that won't i!

So in conclusion its been a big week with much work been done and heaps more to go. Will get more into the whole Fuel Remediation project more in the next blog.

Hope everyone is ok in Queensland in the "BIG WET"

Take Care.

Michael


P.S....................."Worry is like a rocking chair. It uses up all your energy,
                      but where does it get you?"
                           Bob Gass