American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Application of a Multi Stage Method to Assess the Landscape Alteration Induced by Quarrying Sites: A Comparative Analysis

Dario Lippiello, Guido Alfaro Degan, Marco De Agostini and Mario Pinzari

DOI : 10.3844/ajessp.2016.317.327

American Journal of Environmental Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 5

Pages 317-327


The aim of this study is to provide a design tool to forecast the effects that extraction methods and reclamation plans will generate on the land surrounding quarry sites. The method is based on a graphical approach and it consists of three consecutive phases. The first phase focuses on the quarry plant and aims to quantify the extent of the quarry area exposed to a potential observer. Various possible exploitation methods are compared by plotting several layouts which are compatible with the characteristics of the mineral deposit. The extent of the resulting quarried area is then assessed for each layout. The second phase allows the selected solutions to be compared and analysed in relation to the topographic characteristics of the surroundings. Through the adoption of a parameter which quantifies the zone of visual influence of the quarry, the visual impact each exploitation method would have on the surrounding landscape throughout the lifetime of the quarry may be assessed quantitatively. The final phase combines the findings of the previous phases, thus taking into account both the extent of exposed quarried area and the features of the surrounding landscape so as to define input data in order to select and design the least intrusive layout. The procedure is tested on two case studies and, after comparing the two sets of results, some general principles are proposed and discussed which may be applied in relation to activities of both quarrying and reclamation.


© 2016 Dario Lippiello, Guido Alfaro Degan, Marco De Agostini and Mario Pinzari. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.