16 March 2010

Time-lapse video reveals deforestation on West Virginia mountaintop


What does 25-years of mining induced deforestation look like? The answer is provided thanks to photos taken from NASA’s Landsat 5 satellite.

The time-lapse video, released by National Geographic, shows the results of more than two decades of coal mining activities on a mountaintop located in Boone County, West Virginia.

Law dictates that coal companies restore land that is used for mining but Margaret Palmer, the director of the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory at the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science, told National Geographic, “soil that is placed back on a mined site is so disturbed and nutrient stripped that it would take 2,000 years for the ecosystem to return to normal.”

Watch the time lapse video:



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Photo Credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/ddimick