MathBench > Environmental Science

The Case of the Missing Mountaintop


How to remove a mountain top

Next up is removing the mountaintop itself. Obviously if you remove the whole top of a mountain, you need someplace to put it -- but the only place big enough is the valley, so that's where it goes.


... and here is a photographic representation, before and after mountaintop removal mining.



Mountain top mining has occurred at over 500 sites in Appalachia, damaging over 1.4 million acres.  So, the environmental issues that can affect the ecosystem include habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation. In other words, habitat is destroyed, degraded so that it sustains less life, or broken up into small enough patches that organisms don't have enough room to fulfill their basic need or to mate.