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The Gallery | Crossrail soil and rock cores stored in UK’s largest salt mine

Crossrail has released a series of photographs showing how it is storing thousands of soil and rock cores from beneath London in a massive salt mine in Cheshire.

Called DeepStore, the salt mine is a natural, climate controlled storage space 150m underground. It’s the size of about 700 football pitches. The unique climate will prevent the samples from deteriorating. The cores show the geology of London, the oldest Crossrail core is 80 million years old.

Crossrail head of geotechnics Mike Black said: “These soil and rock cores played a crucial role in the Crossrail project as they allowed us to build up a detailed picture of the ground conditions below London. The information gained from them can be used by future London tunnelling projects.”

The soil and rock cores were extracted from over 1,400 boreholes along the Crossrail route at depths of up to 70 metres. They were tested to ensure safe excavation of tunnels and stations and check subsidence risk.

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