Feofanov A.N. GEOECOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF COAL MINING IN DONETS BASIN

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nsr.jvolsu.2021.4.1

Andrey N. Feofanov, Candidate of Sciences (Engineering), Senior Researcher, Department of Geological and Geochemical Survey, N.P. Semenenko Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Ore Formation of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Prosp. Akademika Palladina, 34, 03142, Kiev, Ukraine, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Annotation. Donets Coal Basin (the Donbass Coalfield) with its multi-million population is a concentration of all kinds of industries. These include iron and steel industry, machine-tool manufacture, mining production, byproduct coke industry, and also agriculture. Above all others it is coal-mining industry which coming of age and subsequent development is invariably connected with the evolutionary existence of this region. Coal mining, like any production, has its own negative aspects that adversely affect ecology of the region. The article overviews a number of essential geoecological aspects related to deep coal mining and shale gas production in Donets Basin which, taken as a whole and in isolation from one another, deform ground surface and surface buildings, flood the near-surface area, affect underground water inflow, dewater surface watercourses, increase background radiation, etc. The vast majority of harmful geoecological impacts are accounted for by legal operating coal mines and illegal ones – the so-called kopanki. Primarily just mines deform and kopanki sometimes distort surface landscape, creating at the same time a hazard to the safety of surface buildings. Faulty operation and the same kind abandonment of such industries lead to an increase in inflow of aggressive groundwater, pollution of safe drinking water sources, drying of surface watercourses that only worsen the environmental geology of the region. A catastrophe waiting to happen in the region is the so-called old mine workings abandoned at coal seam outcrops since early days through present of coal industry. They are hazardous due to their sinkhole collapse and deformation unpredictability for ground surface areas that fall within their affected zone. The more so because at most mining plans of old mines have not been preserved. Just as either there are no plans or they are completely lack for operating illegally private shallow mines, including kopanki. The planned shale gas production in Donets Coal Basin to be commenced since that year will significantly put a strain on environmental geology of the region with far-reaching negative consequences.

 

Key words: active undermining, abandoned mine workings, mining damage, treatment of disused mines, mine drainage, flooding, drying of surface watercourses, shale gas production

Citation. Feofanov A.N. Geoecological Aspects of Coal Mining in Donets Basin. Prirodnye sistemy i resursy [Natural Systems and Resources], 2021, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 5-14. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/nsr.jvolsu.2021.4.1

 

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