Land Subsidence – Article Example

LAND SUBSIDENCE Cou.rse: MINING IN NEW ZEALAND Mining in New Zealand has become unnecessary evil due to its negative impacts on the environment. Despite the negative impacts, mining in New Zealand has positive impacts. For example, mining is a source of income/revenue to the New Zealand government. Moreover, it creates employment opportunities to many New Zealand citizens. However, the negative impacts of mining outweigh its benefits (New Zealand, 1887). For example, it leads to land subsidence as discussed below.
Effects of mining (land subsidence) on biological and physical environment
Land subsidence occurs when water has been largely removed from the ground making the permeable rocks to be seen. Excessive withdrawal/removal of water from the ground causes the ground to form a cone shape. Land subsidence is caused by human activities such as compacting the aquifer, mining, drainage to mention just but a few (Melinda, 2013). The physical effects include but not limited to destruction of structures such as roads, bridges, railroads, and buildings. In addition, land subsidence leads to destruction of wells and is one of the major causes of floods occurrences (Xiang, 2010).
Land subsidence has numerous effects into the biological environment. For example, excessive withdrawal of seas and ocean water destroys habitats for aquatic creatures such as fish (Pillay, 2004). Biogeochemical imbalances occur because it leads to the destruction of plants that are responsible for absorbing minerals and nutrients in the sea. Further, land subsidence affects the weather patterns including precipitation (Hem, & Geological Survey, 1985).It causes increase in drought due to hurricane storms. Moreover, it leads to increase in water piollution due to lack of adequate plants to filter the various water polluting agents (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2011).
Economic implications
The major economic implication may be attributed to the cost incurred in reconstructing the structures and resources destroyed. For example, the cost and time involved in reconstructing new bridges, roads and destroyed railways may be significantly high and may negatively affect the economy. Over the years, assets worth billions of dollars have been lost due to land subsidence in New Zealand (Schwartz, 2005).
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