The study investigates the use of crushed rock sand as viable alternative to Natural River sand that is being conventionally used as fine aggregate in cement concrete. Various mix designs were developed for different grades of concrete based on IS, ACI and British codes using Natural River sand and crushed rock sand. In each case, the cube compressive strength test, and beam flexure tests were conducted. The results of the study show that, the strength properties of concrete using crushed rock sand are nearly similar to the conventional concrete. The study has shown that crushed stone sand can be used as economic and readily available alternative to river sand and can therefore help to arrest the detrimental effects on the environment caused due to excessive mining of river sand.
Mining and quarrying for minor minerals impart significant economic, environmental and social impacts in and around the affected areas. The problem is severe in the small river catchments as the effective area available for assimilating negative impactsof the activity is minimal, compared to large river basins. To address these issues, an investigation has been carried out in two river basins of southern Western Ghats (India)the NetravatiGurpur and PeriyarChalakudy river basins. Both these basins host two important port cities of south IndiaKochi and Mangalore. The study reveals that about 6.75106ty1 of hard rocks are being extracted in the NetravatiGurpur basin through 64 quarries. At the same time, the total number of quarries and extracted amounts in the PeriyarChalakudy river basin are 525 and 10.47106ty1, respectively. Many hillocks in the region are turned to a cluster of ugly scars, degrading the ecology and aesthetics of the area. Lowering of water table, modification or disappearance of natural drainages and environmental pollution are some of the other observations noticed in the area. The environmental impacts of laterite quarrying are comparatively less than that of rock quarrying as removal of the hard laterite cap rock enhances water percolation and makes the area more irrigable for agriculture. The study stresses the need for environment-friendly quarrying alternatives with stringent guidelines to improve the overall environmental quality of the area on one hand and to meet the developmental requirements on the other.
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We thank the Director, National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS), Thiruvananthapuram for encouragement and support. Thanks are also due to Shri. Eldhose K. for supporting in field work in NetravatiGurupur river basins.
Vandana, M., John, S.E., Maya, K. et al. Environmental impact of quarrying of building stones and laterite blocks: a comparative study of two river basins in Southern Western Ghats, India. Environ Earth Sci 79, 366 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-020-09104-1