Quantitative Assessment of Landscape Load Caused by Mining Activity

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Abstract

In Hungary, not only the aftermath of the extraction in the past nearly 150 years, but also the economic changes taking place in the past two decades have had significant environmental consequences manifested, above all, in the landscape. It is, however, not sufficient to investigate the landscape components separately; it is necessary to explore connections within the landscape. Accordingly, the chief aim of this presentation has been, on the one hand, to work out the method of landscape load index, based on a quantitative database of mining claims and deposits of mining waste, which has revealed their impacts on the landscape as well. On the other hand, we have also aimed at developing the method of the mining load index of certain geographical landscape units. By calculating and analysing the indices, we have intended to build a quantitative database suitable for investigating the impacts of mining activities on the landscape. On the basis of the indices, the impacts and consequences could be ranked, and it was also possible to compare the impacts of different mining claims and waste deposits in three different landscape categories. With the main result of our examination, this will make it possible to investigate concrete problems and landscape conflicts caused by the landscape use of mining or its aftermath in different landscape units with a high load index.

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