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By Alecia M. The environmental damage caused by surface mining is related to the large amount of surface material that humans remove during mining operations. The environmental effects of surface mining include.

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Mountaintop-removal mines in Appalachia are estimated to produce just 5 to 10 percent of total U. This highly destructive form of surface mining is disfiguring an entire region, the coalfield areas of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia, because of one reason: profit. More than mountains in the southern Appalachians, which are among the oldest mountains on Earth, have already been sheared off.

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Open pit mining -- or strip mining -- is an extraction process for ore or fossil fuels that takes place at the surface of a mining site. Worldwide, 40 percent of mining occurs at the surface, according to Greenpeace International. Compared with underground mining, surface mining is much more efficient.

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See more. We have started to look for other sources of renewable energy, but to date, coal is still the number one energy source. There are 2 ways to mine coal — Strip Mining and Underground Mining — both ways have their own impact to the environment and health.

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Surface miningincluding strip miningopen-pit mining and mountaintop removal miningis a broad category of mining in which soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit the overburden are removed, in contrast to underground miningin which the overlying rock is left in place, and the mineral is removed through shafts or tunnels. Surface mining began in the mid-sixteenth century [1] [ dubious — discuss ] and is practiced throughout the world, although the majority of surface coal mining occurs in North America. In most forms of surface mining, heavy equipment, such as earthmoversfirst remove the overburden.

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More blasting and mining for less coal also raises human health concerns. Strip mining across the mountaintops of Appalachia is scarring as much as three times more land to get a ton of coal than just three decades ago, new research shows. The data and a series of new maps that track the spread of surface mining across the region suggest that even as the industry has declined, what continues likely has an oversized impact on people and the environment.

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Coal mining is the process of extracting coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content and since the s, has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production.

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Many mining jobs are done in cramped, underground shafts where cave-ins can trap and injure workers. The biggest danger miners face, though, is from explosions. In coal mines, methane gases accumulate in coal seams, leak into open spaces and ignite. Coal dust can also explode.

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Surface mining refers to a category of mining where soil and rock overlying the mineral deposit are removed. There are several types of surface mining, and strip mining counts as one of them. In strip mining, a thin layer of material known as an overburden is removed so that access is made to the minerals buried underneath.

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The same week the Environmental Protection Agency issued yet another permit to lop the top off a mountain in West Virginia for the coal underneath, a group of scientists presented more evidence that strip-mining causes irreversible and unavoidable damage to the environment and human health. In a report published in the journal Science earlier this month, researchers from the University of Maryland, Duke University and elsewhere concluded that U. Over the last 30 years, "mountaintop removal" mining has increased in southwestern Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Tennessee.

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