The area is approximately 300-m from the Rhine River, and groundwater is very shallow. As noted in another NCE article, the contractor constructed 15 dewatering wells when only 4 were approved. Additionally, the pumping rate being used was 750 m^3/hr, or nearly double the 450 m^3/hr it was pumping in December of 2008. Clearly the groundwater is one component of the failure, but it does not appear that there is sufficient evidence to say exactly what role of the groundwater was or if the shoring walls did in fact fail and lead to the collapse of the Cologne historical archives and the deaths of two people.
Today, Tuesday, February 26, 2008, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is scheduled to start operating on the remote island of Spitsbergen, Norway in the Svalbard Archipelago. The location is only about 1000km (625 miles) from the North Pole. The Global Seed Vault will house duplicates of seeds from known species of plants from all over the world in case a natural or other disaster destroys the original species. [Editor] Read on for more details. Photo by Mari Tefre/Svalbard Global Seed Vault [/Editor]