This landmark project provided the clearest quantification to date of the nature and extent of pollution arising from abandoned metal mines.
The project, led by the Newcastle team, involved the development of a GIS-hosted methodology for prioritising the impacts of abandoned metal mines on the environment, using existing data held by the Environment Agency. The methodology developed takes account of not only impacts on water quality, but also ecological impacts and socio-economic considerations. Spatial analyses, using Boolean operators, are employed to evaluate the extent and severity of pollution.
The outputs from the project have now been transposed directly into the Environment Agency’s River Basin Management Plans (RBMPs) for England and Wales. Further details of the methodology can be found in Mayes, W.M. et al. (2009), Science of the Total Environment, 407, 5435-5447.