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A view of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Even though built on stilts to prevent snow accumulation, some annual snow buildup does occur (about 20 cm (8 in) per year). The station can be elevated to prevent its becoming buried in the snow. In the foreground is the ceremonial South Pole and the flags for the original 12 signatory nations to the Antarctic Treaty. Image courtesy of the National Science Foundation.