impact of mining limestone

environmental hazards of limestone mining | education - seattle pi

environmental hazards of limestone mining | education - seattle pi

Limestone deposits exist throughout the world. These alkaline, sedimentary rocks were laid down mostly as deposits on the beds of ancient seas. A valuable natural resource, limestone has many uses in construction, agriculture and industry. Limestone quarries can be above ground or underground, and can cover large areas. Environmental hazards from mining operations depend in part on the location, characteristics and extent of the mining operations.

Limestone deposits exist throughout the world. These alkaline, sedimentary rocks were laid down mostly as deposits on the beds of ancient seas. A valuable natural resource, limestone has many uses in construction, agriculture and industry. Limestone quarries can be above ground or underground, and can cover large areas. Environmental hazards from mining operations depend in part on the location, characteristics and extent of the mining operations.

Limestone mining can affect ground water conditions. Limestone deposits often occur in association with karst, a topography where limestone slowly dissolves away underground. The deposits result in sinkholes, caves and areas of rock fractures that form underground drainage areas. When mining occurs in karst, disruption to natural aquifers, or flows of underground water, can result. Often, mining operations remove ground water to expose the quarrying site, which can lower the water table and change how water flows through the rock formations.

Streams and rivers can be altered when mines pump excess water from a limestone quarry into downstream natural channels. This increases the danger of flooding, and any pollutants or changes in water quality affects the surface water. In Germany, salty water pumped from limestone quarries into rivers has degraded the water quality, according to the International Mine Water Association. Upstream surface water features, such as marshes, ponds and wetlands, can lose volume as their waters drain into the mine and are pumped out.

As water and rock are removed from mines, the support they give to underground features is gone. Sinkholes can develop, where the roofs of underground caverns are weakened or collapse. Collapse can be gradual or sudden. Although natural sinkholes develop over time, man-made ones predominate in mine areas. Sinkhole formation can cease after mine dewatering is stopped and the water table is allowed to return to normal levels.

Limestone mines use two types of blasting. Small explosive charges set along drilled lines free blocks of stone to be removed for construction. Large charges reduce whole areas of limestone to rubble, which is removed for use as crushed stone. The noise, dust, and impact from explosions can result in noise pollution and dust. Underground forces from the blasts can cause sinkholes or change the drainage and water quality of underground aquifers. Construction equipment, such as large trucks, crushing machines and earth-moving equipment, also contribute to noise and dust.

Carolyn Csanyi began writing in 1973, specializing in topics related to plants, insects and southwestern ecology. Her work has appeared in the "American Midland Naturalist" and Greenwood Press. Csanyi holds a Doctor of Philosophy in biology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

environmental hazards of limestone mining and adaptive practices for environment management plan | springerlink

environmental hazards of limestone mining and adaptive practices for environment management plan | springerlink

Limestone is a fundamental raw material in various industrial sectors. It is formed due to biochemical precipitation of calcium carbonate, and further compaction over long periods of time. A high market for limestone products and its use in a growing number of industries has led to its widespread exploration and excavation. The most widely adopted method of limestone mining is through opencast pits with bench formation. Limestone mining causes widespread disturbance in the environment. Myriad impacts are observed as changes in land use pattern, habitat loss, higher noise levels, dust emissions and changes in aquifer regimes. These environmental concerns have brought about the need for sustainable Environment Management Plan in the mining sector, so as to reduce environmental degradation during operation as well as restoration of degraded lands after final mine closure. A well-formulated Environment Management Plan will help in mitigating the impacts of mining on the environment. The best practices adopted by industries around the world can be adapted as per site characteristics is to ensure sustainable mining along with the prevention of environmental degradation.

how does limestone affect the environment?

how does limestone affect the environment?

Limestone mining can pollute water and create sinkholes. When limestone dissolves while it's still in the ground, caves and gullies form, a natural phenomenon known as karst. Although this doesn't hurt the environment in its natural form, once the limestone is mined out, sinkholes can form and disrupt underground waterways. This changes the natural water table. The actual mining process also changes existing waterways, adding additional water to streams and other bodies of water that not only floods the surrounding area, but adds pollutants to it as well. At the same time, it draws water from other features such as lakes and ponds.

Limestone mining can pollute water and create sinkholes. When limestone dissolves while it's still in the ground, caves and gullies form, a natural phenomenon known as karst. Although this doesn't hurt the environment in its natural form, once the limestone is mined out, sinkholes can form and disrupt underground waterways. This changes the natural water table. The actual mining process also changes existing waterways, adding additional water to streams and other bodies of water that not only floods the surrounding area, but adds pollutants to it as well. At the same time, it draws water from other features such as lakes and ponds.

Limestone can be damaged by the environment through weather and water erosion. The stone absorbs water that can cause it to deteriorate over time. If the water has a high acidity content, the damage is more immediate. Wind can wear away stone detailing. Limestone is also prone to discoloration by exposure to oil, dyes or even organic material, such as bird droppings or decomposing plant matter. It can even get rust stains if exposed to oxidizing iron.

Limestone can be damaged by the environment through weather and water erosion. The stone absorbs water that can cause it to deteriorate over time. If the water has a high acidity content, the damage is more immediate. Wind can wear away stone detailing. Limestone is also prone to discoloration by exposure to oil, dyes or even organic material, such as bird droppings or decomposing plant matter. It can even get rust stains if exposed to oxidizing iron.

analysis of the impacts of mining sequence and overburden depth on stability at a dipping limestone mine | springerlink

analysis of the impacts of mining sequence and overburden depth on stability at a dipping limestone mine | springerlink

Ground falls represent a significant hazard at underground mines in the stone, sand, and gravel (SSG) sector in the USA. Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) are currently conducting detailed investigations into the complex loading conditions at underground stone mines operating in challenging conditions. This paper presents the application of numerical modeling to analyze pillar and roof stability at a dipping underground limestone mine. A validated numerical model was used to explore the potential behavior of the pillars and roof as loading conditions change. The validated model was used to compare changes in mining sequence, overburden depth, and the in situ stress field. This will allow mine operators and engineers to have a better idea of the conditions that could be encountered as mining progresses. Results from the numerical modeling indicate that roof displacement more than doubles as the vertical stress increases from 10 MPa (1450 psi) to 19 MPa (2750 psi) when the maximum and minimum horizontal stresses were 41 MPa (5950 psi) and 22 MPa (3190 psi), respectively. Consequently, as the pillar load increases, the safety factor of the pillars is projected to decrease by about 25%. The impact of the practical application of numerical models can result in a reduction of ground-fall accidents and injuries as well as generally safer working conditions.

ASTM Standard D4623 (2008) Standard test method for determination of in situ stress in rock mass by overcoring method USBM borehole deformation gauge. ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA. https://doi.org/10.1520/D4263-08. www.astm.org

Esterhuizen GS, Mark C, Murphy MM (2010) Numerical model calibration for simulating coal pillars, gob and overburden response. In: Proceedings of the 29th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining, Morgantown, 2527 July 2010, pp 112

Murphy MM, Slaker B, Iannacchione A, Rashed G, Buchan G, Van Dyke M, Minoski T, McElhinney D, Winfield J (2018) Development of a comprehensive pillar and roof monitoring system at a steeply dipping underground limestone mine. In: Proceedings of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Inc., Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN

Sears MM, Slaker B, Rashed G, Winfield J (2019) Numerical model validation and analysis of a dipping limestone pillar using FLAC3D. In: Proceedings of the 53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium. New York City, NY

Slaker B, Murphy M, Winfield J (2019) Tracking convergence, spalling, and cutter roof formation at the Pleasant Gap Limestone Mine using LiDAR. In: Proceedings of the 53rd US Rock Mechanics/ Geomechanics Symposium

Swart A, Keyter G, Wesseloo J, Stacey T, Joughin W (2000) Influence of surface topography on the loading of pillar workings in near surface and shallow mines. Safety in Mines Research Advisory Committee, Johannesburg

Tulu IB, Esterhuizen GS, Gearhart DF, Klemetti TM, Mohammed KM, Su DWH (2017) Analysis of global and local stress change in a longwall gateroad. In: Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Ground Control in Mining. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University, pp 100110

The findings and conclusions in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by NIOSH.

Sears, M.M., Slaker, B., Rashed, G. et al. Analysis of the Impacts of Mining Sequence and Overburden Depth on Stability at a Dipping Limestone Mine. Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration 38, 959965 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-021-00395-x

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