causes and effects of soil erosion | earth eclipse

causes and effects of soil erosion | earth eclipse

Soil erosion is a process that involves the wearing away of the topsoil. The process involves the loosening of the soil particles, blowing or washing away of the soil particles, and either ends up in the valley and faraway lands or washed away to the oceans by rivers and streams. Soil erosion is a natural process which has increasingly been exacerbated by human activities such as agriculture and deforestation.

The wearing away of the topsoil is driven by erosion agents including the natural physical forces of wind and water, each contributing a substantial quantity of soil loss annually. Farming activities such as tillage also significantly contribute to soil erosion.

Thus, soil erosion is a continuous process and may occur either at a relatively unnoticed rate or an alarming rate contributing to copious loss of the topsoil. The outcomes of soil erosion are reduced agricultural productivity, ecological collapse, soil degradation, and the possibility of desertification.

All soils undergo soil erosion, but some are more vulnerable than others due to human activities and other natural causal factors. The severity of soil erosion is also dependent on the soil type and the presence of vegetation cover. Here are few of the major causes of soil erosion.

Greater duration and intensity of rainstorm means greater potential for soil erosion. Rainstorm produces four major types of soil erosion including rill erosion, gully erosion, sheet erosion, and splash erosion. These types of erosions are caused by the impacts of raindrops on the soil surface that break down and disperse the soil particles, which are then washed away by the stormwater runoff.

Over time, repeated rainfall can lead to significant amounts of soil loss. Rapidly moving stormwater, flashfloods, and flooding may also occur because of excess surface water runoff, thus, causing extreme local erosion by plucking bed rocks, forming rock cut-basins, creating potholes, and washing away the loosened soil particles.

The flow of rivers and streams causes valley erosion. The water flowing in the rivers and streams tend to eat away the soils along the water systems leading to a V-shaped erosive activity. When the rivers and streams are full of soil deposits due to sedimentation and the valley levels up with the surface, the water ways begin to wash away the soils at the banks.

This erosive activity is termed as lateral erosion which extends the valley floor and brings about a narrow floodplain. This erosive activity is evident in most rivers or streams especially during heavy rainfall and rapid river channel movement.

High winds can contribute to soil erosion, particularly in dry weather periods or in the arid and semi-arid (ASAL) regions. The wind picks up the loose soil particles with its natural force and carries them away to far lands, leaving the soil sculptured and denudated. It is severe during the times of drought in the ASAL regions. Hence, wind erosion is a major source of soil degradation and desertification.

The transformation of natural ecosystems to pasture lands has largely contributed to increased rates of soil erosion and the loss of soil nutrients and the top soil. Overstocking and overgrazing has led to reduced ground cover and break down of the soil particles, giving room for erosion and accelerating the erosive effects by wind and rain. This reduces soil quality and agricultural productivity.

Agricultural tillage depending on the machinery used also breaks down the soil particles, making the soils vulnerable to erosion by water. Up and down field tillage practices as well create pathways for surface water runoff and can speed up the soil erosion process.

Deforestation and urbanization destroy the vegetation land cover. Agricultural practices such as burning and clearing of vegetation also reduce the overall vegetation cover. As a result, the lack of land cover causes increased rates of soil erosion.

Trees and vegetation cover help to hold the soil particles together thereby reduces the erosive effects of erosion caused by rainfall and flooding. Deforestation and urbanization are some of the human actions that have continued the cycle of soil loss.

The outward and downward movements of sediments and rocks on slanting or slope surfaces due to gravitational pull qualify as an important aspect of the erosion process. This is because mass movements aids in the breakdown of the soil particles that makes them venerable to water and wind erosion. Soil structure and composition is another factor that determines erosivity of wind or rainfall.

For instance, clay soils tend to be more resistant to soil erosion compared to sandy or loose silt soils. Soil moisture content and organic matter make up are some of the soil component aspects that determine erosivity of wind or rainfall.

The consequences of soil erosion are primarily centered on reduced agricultural productivity as well as soil quality. Water ways may also be blocked, and it may affect water quality. This means most of the environmental problems the world face today arises from soil erosion. The effects of soil erosion include:

Lands used for crop production have been substantially affected by soil erosion. Soil erosion eats away the top soil which is the fertile layer of the land and also the component that supports the soils essential microorganisms and organic matter. In this view, soil erosion has severely threatened the productivity of fertile cropping areas as they are continually degraded.

Because of soil erosion, most of the soil characteristics that support agriculture have been lost, causing ecological collapse and mass starvation. It is likely that most of the cultivated areas around the globe are vulnerable to soil erosion.

Soils eroded from agricultural lands carry pesticides, heavy metals, and fertilizers which are washed into streams and major water ways. This leads to water pollution and damage to marine and freshwater habitats. Accumulated sediments can also cause clogging of water ways and raises the water level leading to flooding.

Apart from polluting the water systems, high soil sedimentation can be catastrophic to the survival of aquatic life forms. Silt can smother the breeding grounds of fish and equally lessens their food supply since the siltation reduces the biodiversity of algal life and beneficial aquatic plants. Sediments may also enter the fish gills, affecting their respiratory functions.

Wind erosion picks up dust particles of the soil and throws them into the air, causing air pollution. Some of the dust particles may contain harmful and toxic particles such as petroleum and pesticides that can pose a severe health hazard when inhaled or ingested.

Dust plumes from the deserts or dry areas can cause large and widespread air pollution as the winds move. Such a case is evident in North America where dust winds from the Gobi desert have recurrently been a serious problem.

Soil erosion can affect infrastructural projects such as dams, drainages, and embankments. The accumulation of soil sediments in dams/drainages and along embankments can reduce their operational lifetime and efficiency. Also, the silt up can support plant life that can, in turn, cause cracks and weaken the structures. Soil erosion from surface water runoff often causes serious damage to roads and tracks, especially if stabilizing techniques are not used.

Soil erosion is a major driver of desertification. It gradually transforms a habitable land and the ASAL regions into deserts. The transformations are worsened by the destructive use of the land and deforestation that leaves the soil naked and open to erosion. This usually leads to loss of biodiversity, alteration of ecosystems, land degradation, and huge economic losses.

Sonia Madaan is a writer and founding editor of science education blog EarthEclipse. Her passion for science education drove her to start EarthEclipse with the sole objective of finding and sharing fun and interesting science facts. She loves writing on topics related to space, environment, chemistry, biology, geology and geography. When she is not writing, she loves watching sci-fi movies on Netflix.

causes, effects and solutions to land pollution you'll wish you'd known - conserve energy future

causes, effects and solutions to land pollution you'll wish you'd known - conserve energy future

When we talk about air orwater pollution, the reactions garnered are stronger. This is because we can see the effects caused by the pollutants and their extent very clearly. It is normal human psychology to believe in what you see firsthand. Our land, on the other hand, is living a nightmare too.

We may not be able to see the effects with clarity, but the land is being pollutedand abused constantly, and we are unable to calculate the damages incurred. Land Pollution has emerged to become one of the serious concerns that we collectively battle.

Land pollution, in other words, means degradation or destruction of the Earths surface andsoil, directly or indirectly, as a result of human activities. Anthropogenic activities are conducted citing development, and the same affects the land drastically as we witness land pollution.

By drastic, we are referring to any activity that lessens the quality and/or productivity of the land as an ideal place for agriculture, forestation,construction, etc. The degradation of land that could be used constructively, in other words, is land pollution.

Land Pollution has led to a series of issues that we have come to realize in recent times, after decades of negligence. The increasing numbers of barren land plots and the decreasing numbers of forest cover are increasing at an alarming ratio.

Landfills and reclamations are being planned and executed to meet the increased demand for lands. This leads to further deterioration of land, andpollutioncaused by the landfill contents. Also, due to the lack of green cover, the land gets affected in several ways, like soil erosion, which washes away the fertile portions of the land. A landslide can also be viewed as an example.

Deforestationcarried out to create drylands is one of the major concerns. Land that is once converted into dry or barren land can never be made fertile again, whatever the magnitude of measures to redeem it is.

Also, there is a constant waste of land. Unused available land over the years turns barren; this land then cannot be used. So in search of more land, potent land is hunted, and its indigenous state is compromised.

With the growinghuman population, the demand for food has increased considerably. Farmers often use highly toxic fertilizers and pesticides to get rid of insects, fungi and bacteria from their crops. However, with the overuse of these chemicals, they result in contamination andpoisoning of soil.

During extraction andmining activities, several land spaces are created beneath the surface. We constantly hear about land caving in, which is nothing but natures way of filling the spaces left out after mining or extraction activity.

Each household produces tonnes of garbage each year. Garbage like aluminum, plastic, paper, cloth, wood is collected and sent to the localrecyclingunit. Items that can not be recycled become a part of thelandfillsthat hamper the beauty of the city and cause land pollution.

To meet the demand of thegrowing population, more industries were developed, which led to deforestation. Research and development paved the way for modern fertilizers and chemicals that were highly toxic and led tosoil contamination.

We humans have been making permanent settlements for at least the past 10,000 years. Most of the cities and towns, and the infrastructure created, will remain with us for thousands of more years into the future.

Many of us may not classify human settlements as land pollution; however, urbanization marks a significant change to the landscape that can cause land pollution in a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle ways.

Due tourbanization, a large number of construction activities are taking place, which has resulted in huge waste articles like wood, metal, bricks, plastic that can be seen by naked eyes outside any building or office which is under construction.

Nuclear plantscan produce a huge amount of energy through nuclear fission and fusion. The leftover radioactive material contains harmful and toxic chemicals that can affect human health. They are dumped beneath the earth to avoid any casualty.

This is caused by the overuse of chemical fertilizers,soil erosiontriggered by running water and other pest control measures, leading to loss of fertile land for agriculture, forest cover, fodder patches forgrazing, etc.

When harmful substances from industrial processes, chemicals are improperly disposed of on the land or in illegal landfills or storages, the chemicals and other substances could end up in the groundwater system.

Most importantly, the green cover is reduced. Trees and plants help balance the atmosphere; without them, we are subjected to various concerns like Global warming, thegreenhouse effect, irregular rainfall and flash floods, among other imbalances.

Land pollution also caused developmental deficiency in children. Chemicals, such as lead that are commonly found in contaminated soil and water, can impact a childs cognitive development even when the exposure is very low.

The constant human activity on land is leaving it polluted, forcing these species to move further away and adapt to new regions or die trying to adjust. Several species are also pushed to the verge of extinction, due to no homeland.

Chemicals that are frequently used on agricultural farms, such as nitrogen, end up benefitting the crops only in a small proportion. The rest ends up in water populated by fish, algae, and other lifeforms.

When land areas are polluted, they usually become quite dry. The dry conditions created by pollutants in the soil create the perfect environment for wildfires and increases the probability of wildfires dramatically.

When deforestation and soil erosion are in progress, animals are forced to move from their natural habitat to find shelter and food. The change is too traumatic for some animals, and this even leads to loss of life. As a consequence, some species are posed with a greater risk of extinction.

4. Reduce the use of non-biodegradable materials. By simply switching to a reusable cloth bag for groceries instead of plastic shopping bags will help cut down on the need for non-biodegradable materials.

10. Several creatures survive under the land. Disruption of the harmony of the land means disrupting their habitat as well. This has led to several creatures reaching the endangered status like Gilberts Potoroo in Australia.

12. Education is key to mitigate the land pollution problem. We have to show people the adverse effects of land pollution and the way to mitigate them. Convincing others can motivate every one of us to make a significant contribution to save our environment.

A true environmentalist by heart . Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musks idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.

evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on socialecological systems in arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol | environmental evidence | full text

evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on socialecological systems in arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol | environmental evidence | full text

Mining activities, including prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing of a mine can impact social and environmental systems in a range of positive and negative, and direct and indirect ways. Mining can yield a range of benefits to societies, but it may also cause conflict, not least in relation to above-ground and sub-surface land use. Similarly, mining can alter environments, but remediation and mitigation can restore systems. Boreal and Arctic regions are sensitive to impacts from development, both on social and environmental systems. Native ecosystems and aboriginal human communities are typically affected by multiple stressors, including climate change and pollution, for example.

We will search a suite of bibliographic databases, online search engines and organisational websites for relevant research literature using a tested search strategy. We will also make a call for evidence to stakeholders that have been identified in the wider 3MK project ( We will screen identified and retrieved articles at two distinct stages (title and abstract, and full text) according to a predetermined set of inclusion criteria, with consistency checks at each level to ensure criteria can be made operational. We will then extract detailed information relating to causal linkages between actions or impacts and measured outcomes, along with descriptive information about the articles and studies and enter data into an interactive systematic map database. We will visualise this database on an Evidence Atlas (an interactive, cartographic map) and identify knowledge gaps and clusters using Heat Maps (cross-tabulations of important variables, such as mineral type and studied impacts). We will identify good research practices that may support researchers in selecting the best study designs where these are clear in the evidence base.

Mining activities, including prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing of a mine can impact social and environmental systems in a range of positive and negative, and direct and indirect ways. Mine exploration, construction, operation, and maintenance may result in land-use change, and may have associated negative impacts on environments, including deforestation, erosion, contamination and alteration of soil profiles, contamination of local streams and wetlands, and an increase in noise level, dust and emissions (e.g. [1,2,3,4,5]). Mine abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing may also result in similar significant environmental impacts, such as soil and water contamination [6,7,8]. Beyond the mines themselves, infrastructure built to support mining activities, such as roads, ports, railway tracks, and power lines, can affect migratory routes of animals and increase habitat fragmentation [9, 10].

Mining can also have positive and negative impacts on humans and societies. Negative impacts include those on human health (e.g. [11]) and living standards [12], for example. Mining is also known to affect traditional practices of Indigenous peoples living in nearby communities [13], and conflicts in land use are also often present, as are other social impacts including those related to public health and human wellbeing (e.g. [14,15,16,17]. In terms of positive impacts, mining is often a source of local employment and may contribute to local and regional economies [18, 19]. Remediation of the potential environmental impacts, for example through water treatment and ecological restoration, can have positive net effects on environmental systems [20]. Mine abandonment, decommissioning and repurposing can also have both positive and negative social impacts. Examples of negative impacts include loss of jobs and local identities [21], while positive impact can include opportunities for new economic activities [22], e.g. in the repurposing of mines to become tourist attractions.

Mitigation measures (as described in the impact assessment literature) are implemented to avoid, eliminate, reduce, control or compensate for negative impacts and ameliorate impacted systems [23]. Such measures must be considered and outlined in environmental and social impact assessments (EIAs and SIAs) that are conducted prior to major activities such as resource extraction [24, 25]. Mitigation of negative environmental impacts in one system (e.g. water or soil) can influence other systems such as wellbeing of local communities and biodiversity in a positive or negative manner [23]. A wide range of technological engineering solutions have been implemented to treat contaminated waters (e.g. constructed wetlands [26], reactive barriers treating groundwater [27], conventional wastewater treatment plants). Phytoremediation of contaminated land is also an area of active research [28].

Mitigation measures designed to alleviate the negative impacts of mining on social and environmental systems may not always be effective, particularly in the long-term and across systems, e.g. a mitigation designed to affect an environmental change may have knock on changes in a social system. Indeed, the measures may have unintentional adverse impacts on environments and societies. To date, little research appears to have been conducted into mitigation measure effectiveness, and we were unable to find any synthesis or overview of the systems-level effectiveness of metal mining mitigation measures.

Boreal and Arctic regions are sensitive to impacts from mining and mining-related activities [29, 30], both on social and environmental systems: these northern latitudes are often considered harsh and thus challenging for human activities and industrial development. However, the Arctic is home to substantial mineral resources [31, 32] and has been in focus for mining activities for several 100years, with a marked increase in the early 20th century and intensifying interest in exploration and exploitation in recent years to meet a growing global demand for metals(Fig. 1). Given the regions geological features and societys need for metals, resource extraction is likely to dominate discourse on development of northern latitudes in the near future. As of 2015, there were some 373 mineral mines across Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, The Faroes, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, Finland and Russia (see Table1), with the top five minerals being gold, iron, copper, nickel and zinc [33].

Many topics relating to mining and its impacts on environmental and social systems are underrepresented in the literature as illustrated by the following example. The Sami people are a group of traditional people inhabiting a region spanning northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia. Sami people are affected by a range of external pressures, one of which pertains to resource extraction and land rights, particularly in relation to nomadic reindeer herding. However, there is almost no published research on the topic [34].

The literature on the environmental and social impacts of mining has grown in recent years, but despite its clear importance, there has been little synthesis of research knowledge pertaining to the social and environmental impacts of metal mining in Arctic and boreal regions. The absence of a consolidated knowledge base on the impacts of mining and the effectiveness of mitigation measures in Arctic and boreal regions is a significant knowledge gap in the face of the continued promotion of extractive industries. There is thus an urgent need for approaches that can transparently and legitimately gather research evidence on the potential environmental and social impacts of mining and the impacts of associated mitigation measures in a rigorous manner.

This systematic map forms a key task within a broader knowledge synthesis project called 3MK (Mapping the impacts of Mining using Multiple Knowledges, The stakeholder group for this map includes representatives of organisations affected by the broader 3MK project knowledge mapping project or who have special interests in the project outcome. We define stakeholders here as all individuals or organisations that might be affected by the systematic map work or its findings [35, 36], and thus broadly includes researchers and the Working and Advisory Group for this project.

Invitations to be included in this group were based on an initial stakeholder mapping process and soliciting expressions of interest (see Stakeholder Engagement Methodology Document, This group included government ministries and agencies such as the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, the Mineral Inspectorate (Bergstaten) and County Administrative Boards, the mining industries branch organisation (Svemin) and individual companies such as LKAB Minerals and Boliden AB, Sami organisations, including the Sami Parliament, related research projects, and representatives of international assessment processes, such as activities within the Arctic Council. Stakeholders were invited to a specific meeting (held at Stockholm Environment Institute in September 2018) to help refine the scope, define the key elements of the review question, finalise a search strategy, and suggest sources of evidence, and also to subsequently provide comments on the structure of the protocol .

The broader 3MK project aims to develop a multiple evidence base methodology [37] combining systematic review approaches with documentation of Indigenous and local knowledge and to apply this approach in a study of the impacts of metal mining and impacts of mitigation measures. This systematic map aims to answer the question:

The review question has the following key elements: Population: : Social, technological (i.e. industrial contexts, heavily altered environments, etc.) and environmental systems in circumpolar Arctic and boreal regions. Intervention/exposure: : Impacts (direct and indirect, positive and negative) associated with metal mining (for gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead) or its mitigation measures. We focus on these metals as they represent approximately 88% of Arctic and boreal mines (according to relevant country operating mine data from 2015, [33]), and contains the top 5 minerals extracted in the region (gold, iron, copper, nickel and zinc). Furthermore, these minerals include all metals mined within Sweden, the scope of a related workstream within the broader 3MK project ( Comparator: : For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. Additionally, alternative mining systems is a suitable comparator. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required. Outcome: : Any and all outcomes observed in social and environmental systems described in the literature will be iteratively identified and catalogued. Data type: : Both quantitative and qualitative research will be included.

Impacts (direct and indirect, positive and negative) associated with metal mining (for gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead) or its mitigation measures. We focus on these metals as they represent approximately 88% of Arctic and boreal mines (according to relevant country operating mine data from 2015, [33]), and contains the top 5 minerals extracted in the region (gold, iron, copper, nickel and zinc). Furthermore, these minerals include all metals mined within Sweden, the scope of a related workstream within the broader 3MK project (

For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. Additionally, alternative mining systems is a suitable comparator. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required.

The review will follow the Collaboration for Environmental Evidence Guidelines and Standards for Evidence Synthesis in Environmental Management [38] and it conforms to ROSES reporting standards [39] (see Additional file 1).

We will search bibliographic databases using a tested search string adapted to each database according to the necessary input syntax of each resource. The Boolean version of the search string that will be used in Web of Science Core Collections can be found in Additional file 2.

We will search across 17 bibliographic databases as show in Table2. Bibliographic database searches will be performed in English only, since these databases catalogue research using English titles and abstracts.

Searches for academic (i.e. file-drawer) and organisational grey literature (as defined by [40]) will be performed in Google Scholar, which has been shown to be effective in retrieving these types of grey literature [41]. The search strings used to search for literature in Google Scholar are described in detail in Additional file 3.

Search results will be exported from Google Scholar using Publish or Perish [42], which allows the first 1000 results to be exported. These records will be added to the bibliographic database search results prior to duplicate removal.

In order to identify organisational grey literature, we will search for relevant evidence across the suite of organisational websites listed in Table3. For each website, we will save the first 100 search results from each search string as PDF/HTML files and screening the results in situ, recording all relevant full texts for inclusion in the systematic map database. The search terms used will be based on the same terms used in the Google Scholar searches described above but will be adapted iteratively for each website depending on the relevance of the results obtained. In addition, we will hand search each website to locate and screen any articles found in publications or bibliography sections of the sites. All search activities will be recorded and described in the systematic map report.

Relevant reviews that are identified during screening will be reserved for assessment of potentially missed records. Once screening is complete (see below), we will screen the reference lists of these reviews and include relevant full texts in the systematic map database. We will also retain these relevant reviews in an additional systematic map database of review articles.

A set of 41 studies known to be relevant have been provided by the Advisory Team and Working Group (review team); the benchmark list (see Additional file 4). During scoping and development of the search string, the bibliographic database search results will be checked to ascertain whether any of these studies were not found. For any cases where articles on the benchmark list are missed by the draft search string, we will examine why these studies may have been missed and adapt the search string accordingly.

We will perform a search update immediately prior to completion of the systematic map database (i.e. once coding and meta-data is completed). The search strategy for bibliographic databases will be repeated using the same search string, restricting searches to the time period after the original searches were performed. New search results will be processed in the same way as original search results.

A subset of 10% of all titles and abstracts will be screened by two reviewers, with all disagreements discussed in detail. Refinements of the inclusion criteria will be made in liaison with the entire review team where necessary. A kappa test will be performed on the outputs of screening of this subset and where agreement is below k=0.6, a further 10% of records will be screened and tested. Only when a kappa score of greater than 0.6 is obtained will a single reviewer screen the remaining records. Consistency checking on a subset of 10% will be undertaken at full text screening in a similar manner, followed by discussion of all disagreements. A kappa test will be performed and consistency checking repeated on a second subset of 10% where agreements is below k=0.6. Consistency checking will be repeated until a score of greater than 0.6 is obtained.

The following inclusion criteria will be used to assess relevance of studies identified through searching. All inclusion criteria will be used at full text screening, but we believe that data type and comparator are unlikely to be useful at title and abstract screening, since this information is often not well-reported in titles or abstracts. Eligible population: : We will include social, technological and environmental systems in Arctic and boreal regions based on political boundaries as follows (this encompasses various definitions of boreal zones, rather than any one specific definition for comprehensiveness and ease of understanding): Canada, USA (Alaska), Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Eligible intervention/exposure: : We will include all impacts (positive, negative, direct and indirect) associated with any aspect of metal mining and its mitigation measures. We will include research pertaining to all stages of mining, from prospecting onwards as follows: prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning, reopening and repurposing. Eligible mines will include those of gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead. Eligible comparator: : For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required. Eligible outcome: : Any and all outcomes (i.e. measured impacts) observed in social, technological and environmental systems will be included. Eligible data type: : We will include both quantitative and qualitative research. Eligible study type: : We will include both primary empirical research and secondary research (reviews will be catalogued in a separate database). Modelling studies and commentaries will not be included.

We will include social, technological and environmental systems in Arctic and boreal regions based on political boundaries as follows (this encompasses various definitions of boreal zones, rather than any one specific definition for comprehensiveness and ease of understanding): Canada, USA (Alaska), Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway (including Svalbard), Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

We will include all impacts (positive, negative, direct and indirect) associated with any aspect of metal mining and its mitigation measures. We will include research pertaining to all stages of mining, from prospecting onwards as follows: prospecting, exploration, construction, operation, maintenance, expansion, abandonment, decommissioning, reopening and repurposing. Eligible mines will include those of gold, iron, copper, nickel, zinc, silver, molybdenum and lead.

For quantitative research; the absence of metal mining or metal mining mitigation measureseither prior to an activity or in an independent, controlled location lacking such impacts. For qualitative research; comparators are typically implicit, if present and will thus not be required.

Exclude, not relevant metal mining (intervention/exposure) [this category is related to the above intervention/exposure exclusion criteria but will only be selected where all other criteria are met, facilitating expansion of the map in the future].

We will attempt to retrieve full texts of relevant abstracts using Stockholm University and Carleton University library subscriptions. Where full texts cannot be readily retrieved this way (or via associated library inter-loan networks), we will make use of institutional access provided to our Advisory Team members, including: University College London, KTH, University of Lapland, and SLU. Where records still cannot be obtained, requests for articles will be sent to corresponding authors where email addresses are provided and/or requests for full texts will be made through ResearchGate.

None of the review team has authored or worked on research within this field prior to starting this project, but members of the Advisory Team and project Working Group will be prevented from providing advice or comments relating specifically to research papers to which they may have contributed.

We will extract and code a range of variables, outlined in Table4. All meta-data and coding will be included in a detailed systematic map database, with each line representing one study-location (i.e. each independent study conducted in each independent location).

Meta-data extraction and coding will be performed by multiple reviewers following consistency checking on an initial coding of subset of between 10 and 15 full texts, discussing all disagreements. The remaining full texts will then be coded. If resources allow we may contact authors by email with requests for missing information.

We will display the results of the systematic mapping using a ROSES flow diagram [44]. We will narratively synthesise the relevant evidence base in our systematic map using descriptive plots and tables showing the number of studies identified across the variables described above. For more complex data, we will use heat maps to display the volume of evidence across multiple variables (see Knowledge gap and cluster identification strategy, below).

We will use interactive heat maps (pivot charts) to display the volume of evidence across multiple dimensions of meta-data in order to identify knowledge gaps (sub-topics un- or under-represented by evidence) and knowledge clusters (sub-topics with sufficient evidence to allow full synthesis). Examples of meta-data variables that will be used together include (this is an indicative rather than exhaustive list):

Appleton J, Weeks J, Calvez J, Beinhoff C. Impacts of mercury contaminated mining waste on soil quality, crops, bivalves, and fish in the Naboc River area, Mindanao, Philippines. Sci Total Environ. 2006;354:198211.

Navarro M, Prez-Sirvent C, Martnez-Snchez M, Vidal J, Tovar P, Bech J. Abandoned mine sites as a source of contamination by heavy metals: a case study in a semi-arid zone. J Geochem Explor. 2008;96:18393.

Anttonen M, Kumpula J, Colpaert A. Range selection by semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus) in relation to infrastructure and human activity in the boreal forest environment, northern Finland. Arctic. 2011:114.

Hossain D, Gorman D, Chapelle B, Mann W, Saal R, Penton G. Impact of the mining industry on the mental health of landholders and rural communities in southwest Queensland. Aust Psychiatry. 2013;21:327.

Nakazawa K, Nagafuchi O, Kawakami T, Inoue T, Yokota K, Serikawa Y, Cyio B, Elvince R. Human health risk assessment of mercury vapor around artisanal small-scale gold mining area, Palu city, Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016;124:15562.

Jain R, Cui Z, Domen J. Environmental impacts of mining. In: Jain R, Cui Z, Domen J, editors. Environmental impact of mining and mineral processing: management, monitoring, and auditing strategies. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2016. p. 53157.

Keeling A, Sandlos J. Ghost towns and zombie mines: the historical dimensions of mine abandonment, reclamation, and redevelopment in the Canadian North. In: Bocking S, Martin B, editors. Ice Blink: Navigating Northern Environmental History; 2011. p. 377420.

Mahar A, Wang P, Ali A, Awasthi MK, Lahori AH, Wang Q, Li RH, Zhang ZQ. Challenges and opportunities in the phytoremediation of heavy metals contaminated soils: a review. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2016;126:11121.

Bennett JR, Shaw JD, Terauds A, Smol JP, Aerts R, Bergstrom DM, Blais JM, Cheung WW, Chown SL, Lea M-A. Polar lessons learned: long-term management based on shared threats in Arctic and Antarctic environments. Front Ecol Environ. 2015;13:31624.

Buixad Farr A, Stephenson SR, Chen L, Czub M, Dai Y, Demchev D, Efimov Y, Graczyk P, Grythe H, Keil K. Commercial Arctic shipping through the Northeast Passage: routes, resources, governance, technology, and infrastructure. Polar Geogr. 2014;37:298324.

Haddaway NR, Kohl C, da Silva NR, Schiemann J, Spk A, Stewart R, Sweet JB, Wilhelm R. A framework for stakeholder engagement during systematic reviews and maps in environmental management. Environ Evid. 2017;6:11.

Collaboration for Environmental Evidence. 2018. Guidelines and Standards for Evidence synthesis in Environmental Management. Version 5.0 (AS Pullin, GK Frampton, B Livoreil & G Petrokofsky, Eds). Accessed 6 June 2018.

Haddaway NR, Macura B, Whaley P, Pullin AS. ROSES RepOrting standards for Systematic Evidence Syntheses: pro forma, flow-diagram and descriptive summary of the plan and conduct of environmental systematic reviews and systematic maps. Environ Evid. 2018;7:7.

We thank the project Advisory Team for comments on the project and the draft: the team consisted of Dag Avango, Steven Cooke, Sif Johansson, Rebecca Lawrence, Pamela Lesser, Bjrn hlander, Kaisa Raito, Rebecca Rees, and Maria Teng. We also thank the 3MK stakeholder group for valuable input. We also thank Mistra EviEM for co-funding the first Advisory Group meeting and publication fees for the systematic map.

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

Haddaway, N.R., Cooke, S.J., Lesser, P. et al. Evidence of the impacts of metal mining and the effectiveness of mining mitigation measures on socialecological systems in Arctic and boreal regions: a systematic map protocol. Environ Evid 8, 9 (2019).

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pollution's effects on animals | sciencing

pollution's effects on animals | sciencing

According to the American Heritage Science Dictionary, pollution is defined as, "the contamination of air, water or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms." Humans are obviously affected by pollution, as seen by disease like asthma or cancer---but animals are victim to its effects too. Many species have experienced pollution events that have caused death or a threat to their habitat. Some species have been pushed to extinction.

Both direct and indirect pollution affect wildlife. Specific statistics for indirect pollution are more difficult to pinpoint. Indirect pollution threatens the habitat of animals. Destruction of the ozone, global warming conditions and the infringement on habitat from solid-waste facilities all impact animals.

Direct pollution is more readily studied. In this case, animals and their habitats are significantly impacted by toxic pollutants. The most common are synthetic chemicals, oil, toxic metals and acid rain.

According to, "The use of synthetic chemicals to control pests, principally insects, weeds and fungi, became an integral part of agriculture and disease control after World War II." DDT, a pesticide that was widely applied between the 1940s and 1960s, mainly for mosquito abatement, is one example of a synthetic chemical known to be highly destructive to animals. However, by the end of the 1960s, it was clear that DDT was affecting both humans and animals and was banned in many countries. Causing of reproductive system failures, and neurological effects are two of the most common issues for both humans and animals.

Oil spills affect wildlife in oceans instantly, with a very large death toll. notes that immediately after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, more than 100,000 sea birds died, along with more than 1,000 sea otters. At least 144 bald eagles are known to have died as well.

Besides the immediate death from the toxicity of oil, many other animals are affected by oil spills. The oil pollutes beaches, water and plant life, which impacts animals in many ways. Reduced or impaired reproduction, cancer, neurological damage and more susceptibility to disease are common effects long after oil spills have been cleaned up.

Metals that are commonly found in nature are typically not concentrated enough to do humans or animals any harm. However, human activities, including mining, water-waste, metal refining and the burning of fossil fuels all concentrate toxic metals to a level that is dangerous. These concentrated toxic metals are released into the water and air.

The affects of these metals vary. Neurological damage, liver damage, muscle atrophy and failure to reproduce are just a few of the physical affects of metals. These toxic metals also affect plant life, which affects the animals' food and habitat. says that, "Acid rain is primarily caused by the release of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere as a result of the combustion of oil and coal by power plants and automobiles." Acid rain pollutes water as the rainfall drains toward lakes, streams, ponds and tributaries. Many lakes lose their entire fish population because of it. The drop in fish population affects the birds and other animals that depend on fish for food.

Cate Rushton has been a freelance writer since 1999, specializing in wildlife and outdoor activities. Her published works also cover relationships, gardening and travel on various websites. Rushton holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Utah.

reading: effects of mining | geology

reading: effects of mining | geology

Environmental issues can include erosion, formation of sinkholes, loss of biodiversity, and contamination of soil, groundwater and surface water by chemicals from mining processes. In some cases, additional forest logging is done in the vicinity of mines to create space for the storage of the created debris and soil.Contamination resulting from leakage of chemicals can also affect the health of the local population if not properly controlled.Extreme examples of pollution from mining activities include coal fires, which can last for years or even decades, producing massive amounts of environmental damage.

Mining companies in most countries are required to follow stringent environmental and rehabilitation codes in order to minimize environmental impact and avoid impacting human health. These codes and regulations all require the common steps of environmental impact assessment, development of environmental management plans, mine closure planning (which must be done before the start of mining operations), and environmental monitoring during operation and after closure. However, in some areas, particularly in the developing world, government regulations may not be well enforced.

Ore mills generate large amounts of waste, called tailings. For example, 99 tons of waste are generated per ton of copper, with even higher ratios in gold mining. These tailings can be toxic. Tailings, which are usually produced as a slurry, are most commonly dumped into ponds made from naturally existing valleys.These ponds are secured by impoundments (dams orembankment dams).In 2000 it was estimated that 3,500 tailings impoundments existed, and that every year, 2 to 5 major failures and 35 minor failures occurred;for example, in the Marcopper mining disaster at least 2 million tons of tailings were released into a local river.Subaqueous tailings disposal is another option.The mining industry has argued that submarine tailings disposal (STD), which disposes of tailings in the sea, is ideal because it avoids the risks of tailings ponds; although the practice is illegal in the United States and Canada, it is used in the developing world.

The waste is classified as either sterile or mineralised, with acid generating potential, and the movement and storage of this material forms a major part of the mine planning process. When the mineralised package is determined by an economic cut-off, the near-grade mineralised waste is usually dumped separately with view to later treatment should market conditions change and it becomes economically viable. Civil engineering design parameters are used in the design of the waste dumps, and special conditions apply to high-rainfall areas and to seismically active areas. Waste dump designs must meet all regulatory requirements of the country in whose jurisdiction the mine is located. It is also common practice to rehabilitate dumps to an internationally acceptable standard, which in some cases means that higher standards than the local regulatory standard are applied.

After mining finishes, the mine area must undergo rehabilitation. Waste dumps are contoured to flatten them out, to further stabilise them. If the ore contains sulfides it is usually covered with a layer of clay to prevent access of rain and oxygen from the air, which can oxidise the sulfides to producesulfuric acid, a phenomenon known as acid mine drainage. This is then generally covered with soil, and vegetation is planted to help consolidate the material. Eventually this layer will erode, but it is generally hoped that the rate of leaching or acid will be slowed by the cover such that the environment can handle the load of acid and associated heavy metals. There are no long term studies on the success of these covers due to the relatively short time in which large scale open pit mining has existed. It may take hundreds to thousands of years for some waste dumps to become acid neutral and stop leaching to the environment. The dumps are usually fenced off to prevent livestock denuding them of vegetation. The open pit is then surrounded with afence, to prevent access, and it generally eventually fills up with ground water. In arid areas it may not fill due to deep groundwater levels.

During the twentieth century, the variety of metals used in society grew rapidly. Today, the development of major nations such as China and India and advances in technologies are fueling an ever greater demand. The result is that metal mining activities are expanding and more and more of the worlds metal stocks are above ground in use rather than below ground as unused reserves. An example is the in-use stock of copper. Between 1932 and 1999, copper in use in the USA rose from 73 kilograms (161lb) to 238 kilograms (525lb) per person.

95% of the energy used to make aluminum from bauxite ore is saved by using recycled material.However, levels of metals recycling are generally low. In 2010, the International Resource Panel, hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), published reports on metal stocks that exist within societyand their recycling rates.

The reports authors observed that the metal stocks in society can serve as huge mines above ground. However, they warned that the recycling rates of some rare metals used in applications such as mobile phones, battery packs for hybrid cars, and fuel cells are so low that unless future end-of-life recycling rates are dramatically stepped up these critical metals will become unavailable for use in modern technology.

how does deforestation affect animal life?

how does deforestation affect animal life?

Deforestation is the massive clearing of Earths forests and it is becoming an environmental epidemic. We may well ask how does deforestation affect animal life and we explain this in the article below.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and with fewer trees worldwide, there is much more carbon dioxide in the air. The larger quantities of carbon dioxide result in an increased greenhouse effect and that leads to global warming.

As forests are cleared, landscapes are drastically changed and therefore animals have to quickly adapt to the new surroundings. Many species only live in a specific area and they are very vulnerable to extinction. There have been several species become extinct and over the next several years, there will be many more lose their battle and also slip into extinction, showing us how does deforestation affect animal life?

Deforestation accelerates the natural process of soil erosion. The absence of vegetation, such as trees, causes the topsoil to erode. The soil is less nutritious and plants cannot grow. This causes plant eating animals to search harder for a reliable food source and starvation is becoming commonplace.

Flooding is another occurrence that deforestation has a hand in. As coastal vegetation disappears, the impact of the waves and winds on the shoreline that are associated with storm surges becomes more volatile. Coastal towns and villages are more susceptible to damaging floods and the potential of a catastrophic event occurring increases.

Another answer to the question how does deforestation affect animal life is that animals are becoming displaced from deforestation. As these animals search for new habitats to sustain them, they are invading the urban areas and becoming a danger to humans and domesticated animals. Migratory animals are finding it more and more difficult to move from feeding ground to feeding ground.

Deforestation is a threat to animals and if we as stewards of the Earth do not start paying attention to the warning signs, we will lose all of the forests. We need to do more than just plant more trees to replace those that have been chopped down, we need to preserve the mature forests that still remain.

what is the environmental impact of the mining industry? - worldatlas

what is the environmental impact of the mining industry? - worldatlas

Mining is the extraction of minerals and other geological materials of economic value from deposits on the Earth. Mining adversely affects the environment by inducing loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and contamination of surface water, groundwater, and soil. Mining can also trigger the formation of sinkholes. The leakage of chemicals from mining sites can also have detrimental effects on the health of the population living at or around the mining site.

In some countries, mining companies are expected to adhere to rehabilitation and environmental codes to ensure that the area mined is eventually transformed back into its original state. However, violations of such rules are quite common.

Air quality is adversely affected by mining operations. Unrefined materials are released when mineral deposits are exposed on the surface through mining. Wind erosion and nearby vehicular traffic cause such materials to become airborne. Lead, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic elements are often present in such particles. These pollutants can damage the health of people living near the mining site. Diseases of the respiratory system and allergies can be triggered by the inhalation of such airborne particles.

Mining also causes water pollution which includes metal contamination, increased sediment levels in streams, and acid mine drainage. Pollutants released from processing plants, tailing ponds, underground mines, waste-disposal areas, active or abandoned surface or haulage roads, etc., act as the top sources of water pollution. Sediments released through soil erosion cause siltation or the smothering of stream beds. It adversely impacts irrigation, swimming, fishing, domestic water supply, and other activities dependent on such water bodies. High concentrations of toxic chemicals in water bodies pose a survival threat to aquatic flora and fauna and terrestrial species dependent on them for food. The acidic water released from metal mines or coal mines also drains into surface water or seeps below ground to acidify groundwater. The loss of normal pH of water can have disastrous effects on life sustained by such water.

The creation of landscape blots like open pits and piles of waste rocks due to mining operations can lead to the physical destruction of the land at the mining site. Such disruptions can contribute to the deterioration of the area's flora and fauna. There is also a huge possibility that many of the surface features that were present before mining activities cannot be replaced after the process has ended. The removal of soil layers and deep underground digging can destabilize the ground which threatens the future of roads and buildings in the area. For example, lead ore mining in Galena, Kansas between 1980 and 1985 triggered about 500 subsidence collapse features that led to the abandonment of the mines in the area. The entire mining site was later restored between 1994 and1995.

Often, the worst effects of mining activities are observed after the mining process has ceased. The destruction or drastic modification of the pre-mined landscape can have a catastrophic impact on the biodiversity of that area. Mining leads to a massive habitat loss for a diversity of flora and fauna ranging from soil microorganisms to large mammals. Endemic species are most severely affected since even the slightest disruptions in their habitat can result in extinction or put them at high risk of being wiped out. Toxins released through mining can wipe out entire populations of sensitive species.

A landscape affected by mining can take a long time to heal. Sometimes it never recovers. Remediation efforts do not always ensure that the biodiversity of the area is restored. Species might be lost permanently.

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