Arial view of a terraced V-shaped valley fill that sits at the edge of a reclaimed West Virginia mining site. Entire mountains are blasted away in mountaintop removal mining in order to obtain a small seam of coal. Unwanted rock is pushed into valleys and streams destroying natural watersheds and the length of the Ohio River has been filled in. The result is a threat to clean water and the biodiversity of the ecosystem.
The Central Appalachian Plateau was created 4 million years ago, and one of its richest assets is wilderness containing some of the world’s oldest and biologically richest temperate zone hardwood forest. A flattened moonscape on top is mostly unusable.
- MELISSA FARLOW
- Image Size
- 1830x1220 / 982.1KB
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- Contained in galleries
- Mountaintop Removal USA_National Geographic magazine 3/2006