Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Mountaintop Removal in Appalachia
More than one million acres of forest have been destroyed in Appalachia by mountaintop removal coal mining. This environmentally devastating form of strip-mining has also permanently destroyed over 500 mountains and 2,700 mountain ridge-tops in the region.
You can examine the huge scale of the destruction to the mountain environment of Appalachia on SkyTruth's Mountain Top Removal interactive map. The map uses Google Map's aerial imagery to show the environmental impact of strip-mining in Appalachia. It also allows you to view how that environmental destruction has progressed over the last 30 years.
To create the map SkyTruth examined satellite imagery of the area dating back to 1976. SkyTruth searched for evidence of strip-mining in the satellite imagery by looking for mines so large that they crossed ridge tops and impacted a significant area of ridge top. You can view the results of this research by using the 5 yearly active mining layers on the SkyTruth map. These layers allow you to view how strip-mining has progressed in the region since 1985.