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GE2021- ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

UNIT III
(III SEMESTER)

NATURAL RESOURCES

Complied By Mr.P.Tamilchelvan Lecturer Department of Civil Engineering Sengunthar Engineering College Tiruchengode

HOD

PRINCIPAL

UNIT III NATURAL RESOURCES


Forest Resources : use and over exploitation , deforestation, case studies, timber extraction, mining, dams and their ground water, floods, drought, conflicts over water, dams benefits and problems . Mineral resources: use effects on forests and tribal people Water resources: use and over utilization of surface and exploitation, environmental effects of extraction and using mineral resources, case studies Food resources: world food problems, changes caused by agriculture and overgrazing, effects of modern agriculture, fertilizer pesticide problems, water logging, salinity, case studies. Energy resources: growing energy needs renewable and non renewable energy sources, use of alternate energy sources, renewable and non renewable energy sources, use of alternate energy sources, case studies. Land resources: land as resources, land degradation, man induced landslides, soil erosion and desertification. Role of an individual in conservation of natural resources- equitable use of resources for sustainable lifestyle. Field study of local area to document environmental assets river / forest/ grassland/ hill/ mountain

PART-A (2 MARKS) 1. Define Resources? How are they classified? The resource is anything obtained from the environment to meet human needs and wants. The material resources are classified as: 1. Continuous resources 2. Non - renewable resources 3. Renewable resources 2. What is a Forest Resource? About 1/3 rd of the worlds land areas is forest. Forests are important renewable resources on this earth. Covering the earth like a green blanket these forests not only produce innumerable material goods, but also provide several environmental services which are essential for life. 3. How Forests are useful to mankind? i) Commercial uses ii) Ecological uses i. Production of oxygen ii. Reducing global warming iii Wild life habitat iv Regulation of hydrological cycle v Soil conservation vi Pollution moderators 4. Define Deforestation? Deforestation means destruction of forests. The term deforestation refers to drastic elimination of forest resources due to many natural and man- made activities. The total forest area of the world in 1900 was estimated to be 7,000 million hectares which was reduced to 2890 million hectares by 2000.

5. What are the main causes of deforestation? The main causes of deforestation are i) ii) iii) iv) v) vi) Shifting cultivation Fuel requirements Raw materials for industrial use Development projects Growing food needs overgrazing Mining is the process of removing deposits of ores from substantially very well below the ground level. Mining operations for extracting minerals and fossil fuels like coal often involves vast forest areas. 7. Define hydrological cycle and their sources? The water from the water bodies like oceans, rivers and lakes etc is evaporated due to sun rays. The water which is evaporated from clouds is condensed to form rain. This process is repeated naturally. This is known as hydrological cycle. Sources of water: 1. Surface source eg: lakes, streams, ponds etc 2. Underground source eg: wells 8. Define Aquifers? A layer of sediment or rock that is highly permeable and contains water is called aquifer. Layer of sand and gravel are good aquifer. 9. What are the impacts of over utilization of ground water? i) Subsidence ii) Lowering of water table iii) Water logging

6. Define Mining?

10. Define Flood and its causes? Flood is defined as a situation when water overflows its banks and the water spreads in the surroundings areas and submerging them. Floods usually occur in the rainy season. Causes of floods: i) ii) iii) iv) v) Heavy intense rainfall The melting of accumulated snow due to global warming. The melting of snow combined with rain. Deforestation, overgrazing, mining and rapid industrialization have also contributed largely to a sharp rise in the incidence of floods, otherwise its a natural disaster. Networking of rivers is beings proposed at national level to deal with the problem of floods. 11. Define Droughts and their types? Scarcity of water, which occurs due to inadequate rains, late arrival of rain and excessive withdrawal of ground water is referred as drought. Types of drought: i) Meteorological drought ii) Hydrological drought iii) Agriculture drought iv) socio- economic drought 12. What are Minerals and how are they classified? Minerals are naturally occurring inorganic, crystallic solids having a definite chemical composition and characteristic physical properties. Based on their properties: Minerals are basically classified into two types. i) ii) Non metallic minerals eg, graphite, diamond, quartz, feldspar. Metallic minerals eg. Bauxite, laterite, hematite.

13. What is Mining? Mention its methods? Mining is done to extract minerals or fossil fuels from deep deposits in soil. i) Sub surface mining mining is done in shallow deposits.

ii)

Surface mining this method is more destructive, dangerous and expensive including risks of occupational hazards and accidents. Three types of surface mining: a) Open pit mining b) Dredging c) Strip mining.

14. What are the major impacts of mineral extraction? i) Devegetation and defacing of landscape ii) Subsidence of land iii) Groundwater contamination iv) Surface water pollution v) Air pollution vi) Occupational health hazards 15. Define Food Resources? Food is one of the basic needs of every living organism and fertile soil is a key to produce most of the human food. 16. Define Malnutrition? The food and agriculture organization (FAO) of United Nations estimated that on an average the minimum caloric intake on a global scale is 2, 500 calories/ day. People receiving less than 90% these minimum dietary calories are called undernourished and if it less than 80% they are said to be seriously undernourished. 17. What is over grazing and its impacts? The phenomenon of excess grazing by livestock, mostly in the grass lands is called overgrazing. Overgrazing occurs when too many animals graze for two long and exceeds the carrying capacity of a grass land areas. Excessive number of domestic livestock feeding for too long in a particular area causes most overgrazing.

Impacts of overgrazing: i) ii) iii) iv) v) land degrading soil erosion loss of species deforestation Impact on global warming.

18. What do you mean by Shifting cultivation? Shifting cultivation is an agricultural system in which plots of land are cultivated temporarily, and then abandoned. This system often involves clearing of a piece of land followed by several years of wood harvesting or farming, until the soil loses fertility. Once the land becomes inadequate for crop production, it is left to be reclaimed by natural vegetation, or sometimes converted to a different long-term cyclical farming practice. 19. Define soil erosion? The washing away of soil by the flow of water or Erosion is the carrying away or displacement of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other particles) usually by the agents of currents such as, wind, water, or ice by downward or down-slope movement in response to gravity or by living organisms. 20. Define Eutrophication? Eutrophication is a process whereby water bodies, such as lakes, estuaries, or slow-moving streams receive excess nutrients that stimulate excessive plant growth (algae, periphyton attached algae, and nuisance plants weeds). This enhanced plant growth, often called an algal bloom, reduces dissolved oxygen in the water when dead plant material decomposes and can cause other organisms to die. Nutrients can come from many sources, such as fertilizers applied to agricultural fields, golf courses, and suburban lawns; deposition of nitrogen from the atmosphere; erosion of soil containing nutrients; and sewage treatment plant discharges.

21. Define Water logging? Logging is the process in which trees are cut down for forest management and timber. When water is applied to a field that is not adequately drained, it builds up in the root zone, creating conditions unsuitable for plant growth. This is known as water logging. 22. What is Salinization? Accumulations of salts in soil that can eventually make the soil unable to support plant growth.Salt affected soils are caused by excess accumulation of salts at the soil surface. Salts can be transported to the soil surface by capillary transport from a salt laden water table and then accumulate due to evaporation; they can also be concentrated in soils due to human activity. As soil salinity increases, salt effects can result in degradation of soils and vegetation. 23. Define Energy? Energy is defined as the ability or the capacity to do work. We use energy to do work and make all movements. There are many sources of energy that help to run the various machines invented by man. 24. What are renewable energy and non renewable energy resources? Renewable sources are sources of energy that can be reused or that will continue regardless of you using them: power from the Sun, power from waves, and power from wind. Non - renewable sources are sources of energy that have a limited supply and will run out, and not be able to be used in the future: Oil, Coal, gas. 25. Define Nuclear fission? It is a nuclear change in which nucleus of certain isotopes with large mass numbers are split into lighter nuclei on bombardment by neutrons and a large amount of energy is released through the chain reaction . 26. Define Nuclear fussion? The two isotopes of a light element are forced together at extremely high temperature until they fuse to form a heavier nucleus releasing enormous energy in the process.

27. Define Land degradation? Land degradation can be defined as any change in the land that reduces its condition or quality and hence it productivity or productive potential. 28. Define soil erosion? The literal meaning of Soil Erosion is wearing away of soil erosion. Loss or removal of the superficial layer of the soil by the action of water, wind or by the activities of man is termed as soil erosion. 29. Define landslides? A landslide (or landslip) is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rock falls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows, which can occur in offshore, coastal and onshore environments. 30. Define Desertification and its causes? Desertification is the degradation of land in arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting primarily from man-made activities and influenced by climatic variations. It is principally caused by overgrazing, over drafting of groundwater and diversion of water from rivers for human consumption and industrial use, all of these processes fundamentally driven by overpopulation. i) Deforestation ii) Overgrazing iii) Mining and quarrying iv) Agricultural practices v) Frequent droughts

PART B (12 MARKS) 1. Discuss the major uses of forests. How would you justify that ecological uses of forests surpass commercial uses? (Or) Explain how forests are useful to mankind. (Or) In what way forests are to immense value to s? Justify your answer. Commercial Uses Forests provide us a large number of commercial goods which include timber, firewood, pulpwood, food items, gum, resins, non-edible oils, rubber, fibers, bamboo canes, medicine, drugs, and many more items, the total worth of which is estimated to be more than $300 billion per year. Half of the timber cut each year is used as fuel for heating and cooking. One third of the wood harvest is used for building materials as lumber, plywood and hardwood, particle board and clipboard. One sixth of the wood harvest is used for paper industry. Many forest lands are used for mining, agriculture, grazing and for development of dams. Ecological Uses: While a typical tree produces commercial goods worth about $590 it provides environmental services worth nearly $196, 250. The ecological services provided by our forests may be summed up as follows. 1. Production of oxygen: The trees produce oxygen by photosynthesis which is so vital for life on this earth. They are likely called as earths lungs.

2. Reducing global warming: The main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is observed by the forests as a raw material for photosynthesis. Thus the forest canopy acts as a sink for CO 2 there by reducing the problem of global warming caused by greenhouse gas CO2. 3. Wild life habitat: Forests are the homes of millions of wild animals and plants. About 7 million species are found in the tropical forests alone. 4. Regulation of hydrological cycle: Forested watersheds act like giant sponges, absorbing the rainfall, slowing down the run off and slowly releasing the water for recharge of springs. About 50-80% of the moisture in the air above tropical forests comes from their transpiration which helps in bringing rains. 5. Soil conservation: Forests bind the soil particles tightly in their roots and prevent soil erosion. 6. Pollution moderators: Forests can absorb many toxic gases can help in keeping the air pure. They have also been reported to absorb noise and thus help in preventing air and noise pollution. 2. What is deforestation? How it is caused? What are the consequences of deforestation? Deforestation means destruction of forests. To be more specific, the term deforestation refers to drastic elimination of forest resources due to many natural and man-made activities. The total forest area of the world in 1900 was estimated to be 7,000 million hectares which was reduced to 2890 million ha by 2000. As per the present rate of deforestation it is estimated that in the next 60 years we would lose more than 90% of our tropical forests. The percapita availability of forest in India is 0.08 hectares per person which is much lower than the world average of 0.08 hectares. We are still far behind the target of achieving 33% forest area, as per our national forest policy, as we are still having only 19.72% forest area.

Major Causes of Deforestation: (a) Shifting cultivation: There are an estimated 300 million people living a shifting cultivator who practice slash and burn agriculture and are supposed to clear more than 5 Lakh ha of forest for shifting cultivation annually. In India, we have this practice in north-east and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and M.P which contribute to nearly half of the forest clearing annually. Slash and Burn Cultivation in which vegetation is cut down, allowed to dry and burned off before seeds are planned. (b) Fuel Requirements: Increasing demands for fuel wood by the growing population in India alone has shooted up to 300-500 million tones in 2001 as compared to just 65 million tones during independence, thereby increasing the pressure on forests. (c) Raw materials for Industrial use: Wood for making boxes, furniture, railway-sleepers, plywood, match-boxes, pulp for paper industry etc., have exerted tremendous pressure on forests. (d) Development projects: Massive destruction of forests occurs for various development projects like hydroelectric projects, big dams, road construction, mining etc. (e) Growing food needs: To meet the demands of rapidly growing population, agricultural and settlements are created permanently by clearing forests. (f) Overgrazing: Overgrazing by the cattle leads to degradation of forest lands. Major consequences of Deforestation: The deforestation leads to global warming because the trees that are cut and burnt release CO2 into the atmosphere. Loss of wildlife due to destruction of their natural habitat. Biodiversity is lost and along with that genetic diversity is eroded. Hydrological cycle gets affected, there by influencing rainfall.

Problems of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility increase. In hilly areas it often leads to landslides. Loss of fruit, root-based foods production.

3. Explain the effect of timber extraction? Timber is the major resource of a forest. The pre and post independent periods of India observed a recorded use of timber for various applications furniture, doors and windows, roofing, flooring, sleepers in railway industry, boat industry, and others. Till 1990, wood is used as fuel energy in rural India, to an extent of 50%. At present the consumption of timber is reduced, due to imposition of ban on cutting valuable trees. Paper board and newsprint also consume much of our wood. With increasing population growth our per capita consumption of paper is likely to increase from 2kg to 4.5kg per year. There are several interconnected effects of timber extraction and fuel wood cutting on forests and tribal people. They are: Thinning of forests. Loss of biodiversity, especially the tree breeding birds, Soil erosion and loss of fertility, Loss of tribal culture, Migration of tribal people in search of few forests, and Extinction of tribal people. 4. Explain the effects of mining with example? Mining is the process of removing deposits of ores from substantially very well below the ground level. Mining operations for extracting minerals and fossil fuels like coal often involves vast forest areas. Mining from shallow deposits is done by surface mining while that form deep deposits is done by sub-surface mining. More than 80, 000 ha of land of the country is presently under the stress of mining activities.

Some of the effects of mining on forest resources are: Clear cutting of forests leads to deforestation, Formation of acid mine drainage incase of coal mining, Land sliding and loss of fauna and flora, Soil erosion and loss of water resources. Loss of top soil & lowering of ground water table. Example: (a) Large scale deforestation has been reported in Missouri hills due to indiscriminate mining of various minerals (limestone & marble) over the length of abou40km. it is one of the important national summer tourist resorts, which helps in maintaining the weather in the region. The forested area has declined at an average rate of 33% and the increase in non-forest area due to mining activities has resulted in relatively unstable zones leading to landslides. (b) Indiscriminate mining in forests of Goa since1961 has destroyed more than 50,000 ha of forest land. 5. Discuss with the help of a case study, how big dams have affected forests and the tribal. Dams are the massive artificial structures built across the river to create a reservoir in order to store water for many beneficial purposes. Big dams and river valley projects (RVP) have multi-purpose uses and have been referred to as Temples of modern India. In a developing country like India, more than 75% of the population depends on agriculture; the execution of river valley project is an important element of growth strategy. India has more than 1550 large dams, the maximum being in the state of Maharastra (>600), followed by Gujarat (>250) and M.P (>130). Although these projects have several benefits, they also have cost the society a great deal. The biggest economic social and environment cost of river valley project is the submergence of large tracts of lands, forests, dwellings, railways and roads For example Narmada RVP, will submerge tracts, 23km of railways, 85km of roads, 45km of telephone lines, 10,000 buildings and 3300 drinking wells.

1. Effect on Tribal people: The greatest social cost of big dam is the widespread displacement of local people. It is estimated that the number of people affected in India over the past 50 years can be as high as 20 millions. The Hirakud dam, one of the largest dams executed in fifties, has displaced more than 20,000 people residing in 250 villages. 2. Effect on Forests: Thousands of hectares of forests have been cleared for executing river valley projects. For example, the Narmada sagar project alone has submerged 1, 44, 731 ha of land, out of which 56,547 ha s best forest. 3. Effect on wild Animals: Construction of dams under these projects will lead to lose of wild animals. 4. Effect on Environment: The big river valley projects also cause water logging which leads to salinity and in turn reduces the fertility capacity of the land. 6. Define resources. Classify the types of material resources. (Or) What are renewable and non-renewable resources? Give examples. The resources is anything from the environment to meet human needs and wants. The material resources from the environment shall be classified as: Continuos resources Non-renewable resources Renewable resources 1. The Continuous resources are directly obtained from the environment without any interference. e.g.: Solar light, winds, and tides. 2. The Non-renewable resources are fixed quantity or stock in the earths crust. These exhaustible resources include energy resources (coal, oil, natural gas, etc); metallic mineral

resources (iron, copper, aluminium etc.) and non-metallic mineral resources (salt, clay, stand etc.) 3. The renewable resources are regenerated through natural processes. e.g., Forests, Grasslands, wild animals, fresh water, fresh air and fertile soil.

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