Crystal Doan, Aleah Howell

Surface Mining

  • mining above surface
  • safer and easier
  • does more damage to the surface
  • creates more of a mess

ex. strip mining, open pit, mountain top mining

Strip Mining

  • removes a long strip of overlying soil and rock
  • can erode soil and reduce it's fertility
  • can pollute and drain underground water reserves
  • pollutes air
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Open Pit

  • extracts rock or minerals from an open pit
  • exposes radioactive elements and metallic dust
  • radioactive elements can leak into bedrock
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Mountain Top Mining

  • blasts the top of mountains off using explosives
  • destroys mountains
  • water downstream has higher levels of sulfate and selenium
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Subsurface Mining

  • underground mining
  • difficult and dangerous (collapses, low oxygen, and heat)
  • expensive
  • not as much damage to ecosystems

ex. slope, drift, shaft


  • an access shaft travels towards desired materials
  • contaminates soil. groundwater, and surface water with chemicals
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Shaft Mining

  • a vertical or sloping passageway made in the earth
  • huge amounts of waste earth and rock can be brought up to the surface
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Drift Mining

  • a flat passageway in a mine
  • can destroy forests and wetlands
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  • drilling down into the earth and shooting water, sand, and chemicals at a high pressure at the rock
  • releases natural gas
  • methane gas and toxic chemicals leak out and contaminates groundwater
  • drinking water is contaminated
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