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1. The Shallow and the Deep

Harpur Hill, Derbyshire
Conohar Scott

Harpur Hill, Derbyshire, is the location of an abandoned lime quarry which is located some thirty miles from Derby. Today, due to contact with rainwater, the lime continues to leach from the quarry works and is suspended in a solution known as limewater (calcium hydroxide). At the top of the hill a Go Kart track would appear to be the most likely source of the fly-tipped tyres, which float suspended in the limewater solution. This post-industrial wasteland also serves as a site of scientific interest for the British Geological Survey who are investigating if limewater has potential as a medium of storage for radioactive and industrial wastes, due to the compound’s molecular stability. The title of the work refers to two temporal concepts. Firstly, the notion of ‘shallow time’ is a reference to the present era of industrial production known as the Anthropocene. Whilst ‘deep time’ in this instance refers to Uranium 235, which is used as a fuel source in nuclear power stations, and has a radioactive half-life of 703.8 million years.This spectre of industrial waste and radioactive pollution constitutes an example of what Timothy Morton would call a hyperobject – which is to say an entity of such vast temporal and spatial dimensions that it resists traditional ideas about what a thing is in the first place.