Gonna toss out some idle speculation here...
From speaking to the NPCs in the Mor Dhona area, we learn that the Empire has come back to Mor Dhona, doing some kind of survey/research, etc. They're more than likely looking into the Keeper of the Lake, a.k.a. their fallen battleship, but they may also be there to collect aetheryte as well, since aetheryite/crystals in general seem to be a pretty powerful commodity to have your hands on, and Mor Dhona is covered with the stuff.
It could be that this area is a processing plant of some kind, since it's so close to the Mor Dhona area, and kinda in the middle of nowhere. The Empire could be processing aetheryite/crystals there to power their machinery or for some other purpose.
/end idle speculation