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01-07-2020 | Original Article | Issue 14/2020

Environmental Earth Sciences 14/2020

Suitability of aquifer-protection mining in ecologically fragile areas in western China

Journal:
Environmental Earth Sciences > Issue 14/2020
Authors:
Jiawei Liu, Dingyang Zhang, Binbin Yang, Shuo Liu, Yong Wang, Ke Xu
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Abstract

Due to the complexity of the geological conditions in the ecologically fragile mining area in western China, water and sand inrush disasters during the mining process are controlled by various factors. Based on the geographic information system (GIS) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP), a suitability analysis system was developed to assess the suitability of aquifer-protection mining in the study area. The system consists of models with 3 criteria and 10 sub-criteria to evaluate the suitability of coal mining. Then, the suitability assessment results are spatially visualized in thematic maps and color-coded maps. A case study of the Mahuang coalfield is conducted, and the geological and hydrogeological conditions are analyzed. An engineering application of the assessment of the suitability of aquifer-protection mining in the ecologically fragile mining area is proposed. Non-dimensional thematic maps for all the indices are constructed. According to the AHP, the weight vector of indices is calculated, which indicates that hydrogeological conditions have the highest weight. In particular, the specific capacity has the greatest influence. The suitability zoning map of the ecologically fragile mining area is obtained by the GIS. The results indicate that half of the study area has the highest suitability degree. The suitability analysis system can successfully enable the evaluation and prioritization of the applicability of aquifer-protection mining in ecologically fragile mining areas. Moreover, the system can provide a better understanding of the distribution of the suitability of aquifer-protection mining and accurately evaluate the suitability levels in ecologically fragile mining areas. Suitability assessment can be a useful decision-support tool for assessing the suitability of aquifer-protection mining in ecologically fragile mining areas.

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