Title

Biophysical closure criteria without reference sites: evaluating river diversions around mines

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publisher

LUT Scientific and Expertise Publications

School

Mine Water and Environment Research Centre (Miwer.org)/ ECU Centre for Ecosystem Management/ School of Science

RAS ID

25002

Comments

Originally published as: Blanchette, M. L., & Lund, M. A. (2017). Biophysical closure criteria without reference sites: Evaluating river diversions around mines. In Proceedings of the 13th International Mine Water Association Congress - Mine Water & Circular Economy (pp. 437 – 444). Original article available here

Abstract

The use of ‘reference’ sites to rehabilitate mined lands often creates unrealistic targets, resulting in environmentally underperforming sites. Previously, we proposed a more achievable approach to mine closure by comparing the bio-physical characteristics of rehabilitated sites to overall ecosystem variability (i.e., the ‘system variability’ approach), rather than specific target reference sites. We tested this model by evaluating the bio-physical state of river diversions around two mined areas in Australia’s Hunter Valley. The model clearly identifies how diversion sites differ from non-diverted sections of river, providing a practical example of model application.

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