Title

Mountaintop Mining Consequences

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Science 8

Volume

327

Publication Date

1-1-2010

First Page

148

Last Page

149

DOI

10.1126/science.1180543

Abstract

There has been a global, 30-year increase in surface mining (1), which is now the dominant driver of land-use change in the central Appalachian ecoregion of the United States (2). One major form of such mining, mountaintop mining with valley fills (MTM/VF) (3), is widespread throughout eastern Kentucky, West Virginia (WV), and southwestern Virginia. Upper elevation forests are cleared and stripped of topsoil, and explosives are used to break up rocks to access buried coal (fig. S1). Excess rock (mine “spoil”) is pushed into adjacent valleys, where it buries existing streams.

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