Impacts of Stone Mining and Crushing on Stream Characters and Vegetation Health of Dwarka River Basin of Jharkhand and West Bengal, Eastern India

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Swades Pal
Indrajit Mandal


Dwarka River basin (3882.71 km2) of Eastern India in the Chotonagpur Plateau and Gangetic Plain is highly affected by stone mining and crushing generated dust. In the middle catchment of this basin, there are 239 stone mines and 982 stone crushing units. These produce approximately 258120 tons of dust every year and this dust enters into the river and coats the leaves of plants. On the one hand, this is aggrading in the stream bed, increasing sediment load, decreasing water quality, specifically increasing total dissolved solid, pH, water colour, and it also degrades the vegetation quality. Vegetation quality is also degraded as indicated by decreasing of NDVI values (maximum NDVI in 1990 was 0.70 and in 2016 it was 0.48). Considering all these issues, the present paper intends to identify dust vulnerable zones based on six major driving parameters and the impact of the dust on river morphology, water quality and vegetation quality in different vulnerable zones. Weighted linear combination method (in Arc Gis environment) is used for compositing the selected parameters and deriving vulnerable zones. Weight to the each parameter is assigned based on analytic hierarchy process, a semi quantitative method. According to the results, 579.64 km2 (14.93%) of the catchment area is very highly vulnerable: Here 581 rivers have a length of 713 km and these riversare prone to high dust deposition, increased sediment load and water quality deterioration.


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Pal, Swades, and Indrajit Mandal. 2017. “Impacts of Stone Mining and Crushing on Stream Characters and Vegetation Health of Dwarka River Basin of Jharkhand and West Bengal, Eastern India”. Journal of Environmental Geography 10 (1-2):11-21.


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