Determination of the Impacts of Mining Activities on Land Cover and Soil Organic Carbon: Altintepe Gold Mine Case, Turkey

Cetin, Mehmet
Isik Pekkan, Ozge
Bilge Ozturk, Gulsah
Cabuk, Saye Nihan
Şenyel Kürkçüoğlu, Müzeyyen Anıl
Cabuk, Alper
Mining activities degrade the landscape and ecosystems by introducing new land uses that alter soil characteristics. Mapping of this degradation is critical, particularly in the context of environmental protection, including climate change research. Even though mining provides significant industrial and economic benefits to society, it also decreases soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks and increases atmospheric carbon levels. This study aims to develop a practical method for determining the changes in SOC in the Altintepe Gold Mine, Ordu, Turkey, due to land cover changes caused by the mining process. 2013 and 2021 Landsat 8 images and CORINE data were used to map the land cover of the study area. NDVI analyses were conducted to detect land cover and SOC stocks, while the NDWI method was used to identify the water surfaces. SOC stock changes on the changed lands were calculated compared to the Turkey Soil Organic Carbon Stock Project database. The results showed that 109.85 ha of forest and 5.30 ha of agricultural land, corresponding to 4450.82 tons of SOC loss, were destroyed in the research area. Since the alterations in SOC levels are commonly determined by verifying remote sensing based analysis results with the site surveys, it becomes quite challenging to conduct such research in areas like Altintepe due to site access restrictions or data unavailability. From this point, this study presents a practical and alternative approach that avoids the necessity of fieldwork and provides a quick SOC change estimation based on the comparison of available data. The results are expected to provide a comprehensive and holistic perspective for the future operations and management of the mine sites and the surrounding environments.
Water, Air, and Soil Pollution
Citation Formats
M. Cetin, O. Isik Pekkan, G. Bilge Ozturk, S. N. Cabuk, M. A. Şenyel Kürkçüoğlu, and A. Cabuk, “Determination of the Impacts of Mining Activities on Land Cover and Soil Organic Carbon: Altintepe Gold Mine Case, Turkey,” Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, vol. 234, no. 4, pp. 0–0, 2023, Accessed: 00, 2023. [Online]. Available: