Types of Mining & Fracking

Ava P. & Ethan R.

Surface

  • less expensive
  • safer
  • more widely used

Subsurface

  • difficult to extract
  • expensive due to increased safety equipment
  • tedious

Types of Surface Mining:

Strip

  • used when an ore bed covers an area, but isn't very deep
  • removal of two long rows of parallel material
  • develops washboard-like pattern

Open Pit

  • used when ore bed covers very large area in distance & depth
  • explosives blast apart ore beds
  • develops bowl-like shape

Mountain Top Removal

  • mining of a summit/summit ridge of mountain
  • coal seams extracted by removal of land above
  • turns mountain tops flatter

Types of Subsurface Mining:

Slope

  • shaft travels in a slope towards ore
  • ends perpendicular to the ground
  • mining is carried out from there

Drift

  • dug directly into side of land where ore lies
  • similar to slope mining, yet not cut into top on land

Shaft

  • dug straight down from surface into ore bed
  • no slope, unlike slope mining

Fracking:

What Is Fracking?

Drilling and injecting fluid at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks and release natural gas inside.

How Is It Done?

  • Water is mixed with sand and chemicals to create fracking fluid
  • Pumped at high pressure and fractures shale rocks and releases natural gas

How Does It Effect the Environment?

  • Methane gas and toxic chemicals can leak into groundwater
  • Contaminates water
  • Causes sensory, respiratory, and neurological damage if ingested
  • Only 30-50% fracturing fluid is recovered
  • Rest is left behind and not biodegradable
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