IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF A MINE SUBSIDENCE ON NATIVE VEGETATION OF SOUTH EASTERN COALFIELDS, INDIA
Keywords: Mining, Subsidence, Vegetation, Remote Sensing, NDVI
Abstract. This study aims to evaluate the effect of underground coal mining subsidence on the growth of native vegetation. For this study, an underground coal mine of South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL), India was selected. Changes in vegetation indices were analyzed using three remote sensing data of the previous five years. Three period’s Landsat 8 OLI resolution image data were used to calculate Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) of the years 2014, 2016 and 2018 in QGIS environment. The study showed that the local grassland and forest were affected by the mining exploitation and subsidence but those effects were not significant to have an adverse impact on the same. The short-term mining was having an impact on the vegetation growth but the effects gradually disappeared with the gradual stabilization of the subsided land and in absence of human interference, vegetation recovered well. In long-term, subsidence was not having a major impact on the vegetation growth. Thus, coal resources exploitation and subsidence of the said mine of SECL did not bring out an adverse impact on a wide range of forest and grassland ecosystems, and these ecosystems could carry the partial destruction and ultimately stabilized ecosystems by self-repair.