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Mountaintop Mining Consequences
Science 8
  • M. A. Palmer
  • E. S. Bernhardt
  • W. H. Schlesinger
  • k. N. Eshleman
  • E. Foufoula-Georgiou
  • M. S. Hendryx
  • A. D. Lemly
  • G. E. Likens
  • O. L. Loucks
  • M. E. Power
  • P. S. With
  • Peter Richard Wilcock
Document Type
Publication Date
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.
Citation Information
Palmer, M. A., E. S. Bernhardt, W. H. Schlesinger, K. N. Eshleman, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, M. S. Hendryx, A. D. Lemly, G. E. Likens, O. L. Loucks, M. E. Power, P. S. White, and P. R. Wilcock, 2010. Mountaintop Mining Consequences, Science 8 January 2010 327: 148-149 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1180543]