Selecting Proper Plant Species for Mine Reclamation Using Fuzzy AHP Approach (Case Study: Chadormaloo Iron Mine of Iran)

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Abstract

This paper describes an effective approach to select suitable plant species for reclamation of mined lands in Chadormaloo iron mine which is located in central part of Iran, near the city of Bafgh in Yazd province. After mine’s total reserves are excavated, the mine requires to be permanently closed and reclaimed. Mine reclamation and post-mining land-use are the main issues in the phase of mine closure. In general, among various scenarios for mine reclamation process, i.e. planting, agriculture, forestry, residency, tourist attraction, etc., planting is the oldest and commonly-used technology for the reclamation of lands damaged by mining activities. Planting and vegetation play a major role in restoring productivity, ecosystem stability and biological diversity to degraded areas, therefore the main goal of this research work is to choose proper and suitable plants compatible with the conditions of Chadormaloo mined area, providing consistent conditions for future use. To ensure the sustainability of the reclaimed landscape, the most suitable plant species adapted to the mine conditions are selected. Plant species selection is a Multi Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) problem. In this paper, a fuzzy MCDM technique, namely Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (FAHP) is developed to assist chadormaloo iron mine managers and designers in the process of plant type selection for reclamation of the mine under fuzzy environment where the vagueness and uncertainty are taken into account with linguistic variables parameterized by triangular fuzzy numbers. The results achieved from using FAHP approach demonstrate that the most proper plant species are ranked as Artemisia sieberi, Salsola yazdiana, Halophytes types, and Zygophyllum, respectively for reclamation of Chadormaloo iron mine.

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