Featured Image: Mountaintop removal mining site in Appalachia. Copyright: CC BY-SA 4.0 via. wikimedia commons.
Report: Peripheral gully and landslide erosion on an extreme anthropogenic landscape produced by mountaintop removal coal mining (2020)
Authors: Miles Reed & Dr. Steve Kite
There’s a general consensus that coal mining is ‘bad’ for the environment, but beyond carbon emissions, what is its visible, physical impact on our surroundings? What lasting damage does mining create on the Earth’s surface? The answer is that it has a tremendous impact; specifically, mining in Appalachia is linked to distorting the natural flow of water on the landscape, which creates ripple (no pun intended) effects on the greater environment. A recent study by Reed and Kite details those effects on Appalachian landscapes, directly linking mountaintop mining to erosion and landslides. Now, as worries about access to safe, clean water being jeopardized by fossil fuel production abound nationwide, exploring the impacts of mountaintop mining on Appalachian freshwater becomes incredibly important with immediate and personal impacts.Continue reading “Making Mountains Out of Molehills? Long-Term Geomorphic Surface Impacts of Mountaintop Removal Mining”