Cumberland Plateau Research Paper

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"The Negative Effects of Strip Mining on the Cumberland Plateau Region of Kentucky"

"Decades of strip mining have devastated the Cumberland Plateau's environment, economy, and social structure."
Description of the strip-mining process Strip mining is the removal of soil and rock from above a layer of material mined, followed by the material.
Types of strip mining
There are three generally practiced types of strip mining:
Auger mining
Auger mining is a strip mining technique used to recover additional material from a seam located behind a high wall produced by strip mining.
Contour mining
A method in which bulldozers or machinery is used to remove large chunks of earth in terraced strips to extract coal.
Open-pit mining
A surface mining technique that removes material from an open pit or borrow.
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It encompasses much of eastern Kentucky, Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northwest Georgia.
Geological formation of the region The plateau that is comprised of sedimentary rocks of materials is washed westward from the old Appalachian Mountains. Some rock layers( the bituminous coal seams), were laid in swampy environments.
Natural Resources of the region Natural resources of the region include minerals such as coal, timber, parkland( the Cumberland Plateau contains some of the largest stretches of contiguous forest in the eastern US) and wildlife( the plateau's rivers sustain a great variety of fish and mollusk species).
Environmental effect of strip mining Strip mining( the cheapest method of mining) is one of the most controversial because it jeopardizes the environment that causes the strip-mined land to either be very expensive or impossible to reclaim.
Increased erosion
Removing vegetation removes the root systems, which help hold soil in place. Running water can now more easily wash soil and rock away, increasing erosion.
Permanent land
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