alexa Monitoring of the mercury mining site Almadén implementing remote sensing technologies.
Business & Management

Business & Management

Journal of Tourism & Hospitality

Author(s): Schmid T, Rico C, RodrguezRastrero M, Jos Sierra M, Javier DazPuente F,

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Abstract The Almadén area in Spain has a long history of mercury mining with prolonged human-induced activities that are related to mineral extraction and metallurgical processes before the closure of the mines and a more recent post period dominated by projects that reclaim the mine dumps and tailings and recuperating the entire mining area. Furthermore, socio-economic alternatives such as crop cultivation, livestock breeding and tourism are increasing in the area. Up till now, only scattered information on these activities is available from specific studies. However, improved acquisition systems using satellite borne data in the last decades opens up new possibilities to periodically study an area of interest. Therefore, comparing the influence of these activities on the environment and monitoring their impact on the ecosystem vastly improves decision making for the public policy makers to implement appropriate land management measures and control environmental degradation. The objective of this work is to monitor environmental changes affected by human-induced activities within the Almadén area occurring before, during and after the mine closure over a period of nearly three decades. To achieve this, data from numerous sources at different spatial scales and time periods are implemented into a methodology based on advanced remote sensing techniques. This includes field spectroradiometry measurements, laboratory analyses and satellite borne data of different surface covers to detect land cover and use changes throughout the mining area. Finally, monitoring results show that the distribution of areas affected by mercury mining is rapidly diminishing since activities ceased and that rehabilitated mining areas form a new landscape. This refers to mine tailings that have been sealed and revegetated as well as an open pit mine that has been converted to an "artificial" lake surface. Implementing a methodology based on remote sensing techniques that integrate data from several sources at different scales greatly improves the regional characterization and monitoring of an area dominated by mercury mining activities. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in Environ Res and referenced in Journal of Tourism & Hospitality

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