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Evaluating Impacts of Opencast Stone Mining on Vegetation Primary Production and Transpiration over Rajmahal Hills


  • Avinash Kumar Ranjan

    (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela 769008, India)

  • Bikash Ranjan Parida

    (Department of Geoinformatics, School of Natural Resource Management, Central University of Jharkhand, Ranchi 835222, India)

  • Jadunandan Dash

    (School of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK)

  • Amit Kumar Gorai

    (Department of Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela 769008, India)


Opencast mining has significantly triggered vegetation degradation in many ecologically sensitive regions across the globe. The detailed spatio-temporal information on mining-induced vegetation degradation and associated primary production loss are crucial inputs to authorities and policymakers to frame and implement sustainable development programs in the mining regions to conserve vegetation ecology. Thus, the present study aimed to decipher the mining-induced vegetation cover and subsequent productivity losses over the Rajmahal Hills in Jharkhand (India). The Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), Net Primary Productivity (NPP), and Vegetation Transpiration (VT) datasets were used for analyzing the mines-induced losses in vegetation cover and associated productivity. The key findings indicated a loss of vegetation cover by ~340 km 2 and an expansion of the mining area by ~54 km 2 over the Rajmahal Hills during 1990–2020. The change detection analysis at the decadal period revealed that ~3.06 km 2 , 8.10 km 2 , and 22.29 km 2 of vegetation cover were lost only due to the mining activity during 2000–2010, 2010–2020, and 2000–2020, respectively. The replacement of vegetation cover by mining area has caused GPP loss of 0.01 tonnes carbon (tC) per day, 0.04 tC/day, and 0.09 tC/day; NPP loss of ~1.25 tC, 2.77 tC, and 7.27 tC; VT loss of 5200 mm/day, 13,630 mm/day, and 30,190 mm/day during 2000–2010, 2010–2020, and 2000–2020, respectively. Hence, the present study revealed that the mining-induced vegetation losses have caused an alteration of carbon sequestration, carbon stock, and VT over the Rajmahal Hills.

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  • Avinash Kumar Ranjan & Bikash Ranjan Parida & Jadunandan Dash & Amit Kumar Gorai, 2023. "Evaluating Impacts of Opencast Stone Mining on Vegetation Primary Production and Transpiration over Rajmahal Hills," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(10), pages 1-22, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:15:y:2023:i:10:p:8005-:d:1146722

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