Definition of sand mining Sand Mining is a coastal activity referring to the process of the actual removal of sand from

the foreshore including rivers, streams and lakes. Sand is mined from beaches and inland dunes and dredged from ocean beds and river beds. objectives Besides resource extraction, ultimate of riverbed sand mining should be Protection and restoration of the ecological system, To prevent damages to the river regime, To work out the sediment influx/ replenishment capacity of the river, To restore the riverine configuration (landforms and fluvial geomorphology such as bank erosion, change of river course gradient, flow regime, etc.) To prevent contamination of ground water regime, To prevent depletion of ground water reserves due to excessive draining out of groundwater.vii. To restore the riparian rights and in stream habitats

SOURCES OF SAND/GRAVEL. The sources of sand are classified as marine and terrestrial deposits. The two most common marine sources are the deposits on the shore and offshore. The most common terrestrial sources are the river channel deposits, floodplain alluvial deposits, and residual soil deposits. The most common places from which sand is mined include. 1. Dredging river channels. 2. Dredging the river floodplains. 3. Extraction of inland residual sandy soils. 4. Dredging submerged deposits. 5. Extraction from coastal dunes. 6. Exploiting renewable beaches

prevent the penetration of the light required for photosynthesis of micro and macro flora which in turn reduces food availability for aquatic fauna. The pollutants due to mining.IMPACTS OF SAND /GRAVELMINING Mining from. Depletion of groundwater: Excessive pumping out of groundwater during sand mining especially in abandoned channels generally result in depletion of groundwater resources causing severe scarcity and affecting irrigation and potable water availability. such as channel geometry. Alteration or modification of the above attributes may cause hazardous impact on ecological equilibrium of riverine regime. flow velocity. Increase in river gradient may cause excessive erosion causing adverse effect on the in stream habitats. change in temperature. suspended load. within or near a riverbed has a direct impact on the stream’s physical characteristics. discharge capacity. . etc. Degradation of Land : Mining pits are responsible for river channel shifting as well as degradation of land. temperature.which controls erosion. The major hazards caused due to mining of sand/gravel include the following: Instream habitat: The impact of mining may result in increase in river gradient. This disturbance may also cause changes in channel configuration and flow-paths. wastes disposal. This may also cause adverse impact on in stream biota and riparian habitats. etc. sediment transport. diesel and vehicular oil lubricants and other human activities may pollute the ground water. provide nutrient inputs into the stream and prevents intrusionof pollutant in the stream through runoff. infiltration through which the ground water is recharged. Excessive sediment deposition for replenishment/ refilling of the pits affect turbidity. This may cause shortage of water for the vegetation and human settlements in the vicinity. in stream roughness of the bed. In extreme cases it may also result in creation of ground fissures and land subsidence in adjacent areas. turbidity. such as washing of mining materials. Lowering of groundwater table in the floodplain area: Mining may cause lowering of riverbed level as well as river water level resulting in lowering of groundwater table due to excessive extraction and draining out of groundwater from the adjacent areas. Bank erosion and change of morphology of the river can destroy the riparian vegetative cover. Riparian habitat: This includes vegetative cover on and adjacent to the river banks. sediment transportation capacity. excessive mining will reduce the thickness of the natural filter materials (sediments). substratum composition and stability. sediment deposition. Polluting groundwater : In case the river is recharging the groundwater. turbidity.iii. causing loss of properties and degradation of landscape. bed elevation.

thus resulting in steady decrease of ground water resources. When mined materials (such as the walls of open pits and underground mines. and heap and dump leach materials) are excavated and exposed to oxygen and water. tailings.Threat to water resources: The potential for acid mine drainage is a key question.Choking of filter materials for ingress of ground water from river: Dumping of finer material. Acid Mine Drainage. acid can form if iron sulfide minerals (especially pyrite. The answer will determine whether a proposed mining project is environmentally acceptable. 2003) . waste rock. or ‘fool’s gold’) are abundant and there is an insufficient amount of neutralizing material to counteract the acid formation Extensive Modification to Stream Channel Caused by Gravel Extraction(Langer. compaction of filter zone due to movement heavy machineries and vehicles for mining purposes may reduce the permeability and porosity of the filter material through which the groundwater is recharging.

On a long-term basis. Point-bar mining increases gradient by effectively straightening the stream during floods. and biological effects on mined streams. bank stability. Sand and gravel mining can change thegeomorp hic structure of streams (Sandecki 1989. A general indicator of the stability of a stream relates to the amount of vegetation present. Kondolf 1994). aggregate mining may take place without causing environmental damage if the channel floor is. armored by particles that are too large to be picked up by the moving water. on a shortte rm basis. often resulting in channel degradation and erosion from mining operations located either in or adjacent to a stream. Removal of gravel from some aggrading sections of a river may be preferable to removing it from eroding sections. while continued fill results in deposition (aggradations). or where the gravel is tightly packed. Streams with excessive gravel generally have gravel bars with little or no vegetation. including local changes in stream gradient and width-to-depth ratios. For example. Instream mining typically alters channel geometry. Thalweg relocation can occur when flooding connects the stream to floodplain mines. gener allyindicate streams where the gravel supply is in balance. or becomes. chemical. Head cuts induced by sand and gravel mining can cause dramatic changes in a stream bank and channel that may affect instream flow. The net balance of this activity. Gravel bars that are vegetated. Constant variations in the flow of the river make the channel floor and riverbanks a dynamic interface where some materials are being eroded while others are being deposited. and are surfaced with loosely packed gravel. Local channel scouring and erosion can occur as a result of increased water velocity and decreased sediment load associated with mined areas. Where mining activities are numerous and concentrated an upstream progression of channel degradation and erosion can occur-a process referred to as Head cutting. continued scour results in erosion (degradation). ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF SAND/GRAVEL MINING  Sand and gravel extraction can result in a number of physical.Impact on river ecosystem Some sections of a stream are more conducive to aggregate extraction than others.      . water chemistry and temperature. is referred to as scour or fill. some sections of rivers under lain with large gravel layers deposited under higher flow rates than those prevailing at the current time may support gravel extraction with no serious environmental impacts. and siltation. Most stream erosion takes place during high-flow events. Even if a stream reach is eroding. available cover.

and footings of highway bridges (Kondolf 1997).Vellar . Sedimentation and increased turbidity as a result of mining can have varying effects on fishes. Channel erosion from head cuts can cause loss of upstream property values. Kollidam.Periyar.puram and Kanyakumari hill.     CURRENT RULES AND POLICIES IN OPERATION Kerala: Kerala Protection of River Banks and Regulation of Removal of Sand Act. Turbidity is generally greatest at mining and wash-water discharge points and decreases with distance downstream. Tamil Nadu: Policy that ensures that quarrying of sand in Government poramboke lands and private patta lands will only be undertaken by the Government. Navi Mumbai. Rivers affected: creeks at Thane. woody debris in a channel. reduce recreational. regions of Salem and Erode districts Maharashtra: New policy announced in October. and contribute to the extirpation and extinction of stream fauna (Hartsfield 1993).vii. Kuttiyadi river. for sand mining. Ramanatha. gas pipelines. Mining-induced changes to the geomorphic structure of the stream can significantly affect fish habitat and abundance. under which it is compulsory for contractors to obtain permission from the Gramsabha. . this policy was countermanded by the government and private partieswere given permits for mining. Cheyyar. 2001 Key features: To permit sand mining in select areas and each selected area or Kadavu will be managed by a Kadavu Committee which will decide on matters such as quantum of mining to be permitted. Vaigai Thamiraparani. and Chitturpuzha. Siruvani. Araniyar and Kosathalaiyar. Key rivers affected: Bharatapuzha. Districts of Nagapattinam. 2010. Bhavani. Instream mining can reduce the occurrence of coarse. fishing. Palar. Thuthapuzha. The combined processes of channel incision and head cutting also can undermine bridge piers and other structures. Ban on use of suction pumps in dredging and sand mining licences can be given only through a bidding proces. Tuticorin. and wildlife values. rivers in the catchments of Ashtamudi and Vembanad lakes. Vaigai. and storm runoff from active or abandoned mining sites. Also sand mining projects have to obtain environmental clearances. an important habitat for fish and invertebrates. and to mobilize local people to oversee these operations and ensure protection of rivers and riverbanks. Achankovil. Sedimentation and increased turbidity also can accrue from mining activities. Rivers affected: Cauvery. Pampa and Manimala. Mechanized sand mining is prohibited. wash-water discharge. Raigad and Ratnagiri. In 2008. Bhavani. Channel incision caused by instream gravel mining on the San Luis Rey River in California exposed aqueducts.

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