Potential Environmental Impacts of Quarrying Stone in Karst-— A Literature Review
This USGS report describes the state-ofthe-knowledge regarding the environmental impacts from quarrying carbonate rocks in karst.
In karst environments, aggregate mining may alter sensitive parts of the natural system at or near the site thus creating cascading environmental impacts (Langer and Kolm, 2001). Cascading impacts are initiated by an engineering activity, such as the removal of rock, which alters the natural system. The natural system responds, which causes another impact, which causes yet another response by the system, and on and on. For example, aggregate mining in some karst might lower the water table, which will remove the buoyant support of rock that overlies water-fi lled caverns or other solution features, which might result in land collapse, which will create a sinkhole. Cascading impacts may be severe and affect areas well beyond the limits of the aggregate operation. Cascading impacts may manifest themselves some time after mining activities have begun and continue well after mining has ceased. Many of the impacts described below are cascading impacts.