EGU General Assembly 2022
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the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

New index for assessment of environment in post-mining area – Mining and Geology Impact Factor (MaGIF)

Anna Buczyńska and Jan Blachowski
Anna Buczyńska and Jan Blachowski
  • Wrocław University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Geoengineering, Mining and Geology, Department of Geodesy and Geoinformatics, Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego street no. 27, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland (

The lignite mine called 'Friendship of Nations - Babina Shaft', located on the border between Poland and Germany, was closed almost 50 years ago. Despite the cessation of mining works (carried out by opencast and underground methods) and carrying out reclamation process, the negative effects of the former mineral exploitation are still observed in this region (e.g. sinkholes, local flooding, subsidence). It should be emphasized that the area of ​​the currently closed mine is also characterized by a complicated glaciotectonic structure, which is the result of successive glacial periods in the past. Both factors, i.e., the past mining activity and geological conditions, may affect the condition of soils and vegetation of the analysed area. The aim of this study was to determine, whether and to what extent the former lignite mining and the complicated glaciotectonic structure had an impact on the changes in the state of plant cover and soils, noted in the period of 1989-2019. A new index, Mining and Geology Impact Factor (MaGIF), was developed to describe the strength and the nature of the relationship between the aforementioned factors within four test fields, based on coefficients’ values and variables of six Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) models. In the research 12 independent variables, representing geological and mining conditions of the area, were prepared. The dependent variables, statistics of selected spectral indices obtained for 1989-2019, were determined in the GIS environment, within individual pixels of the research area. In this study, two vegetation indices (NDVI and NDII) and four soil indices (DSI, SMI, Ferrous Minerals and SI3), calculated on the basis of Landsat TM/ETM +/OLI images, were used. The values of the obtained MaGIF index were ​​in the range of -9.99 - 0.62, and their distribution in the test fields proved that the former mining and geological conditions had the strongest impact on the vegetation and soils of the central part of field no. 1, as well as on north-western and south-eastern parts of field no. 4. The nature of the influence of explanatory factors on the indicated components of the environment was negative (an increase or decrease in the value of the independent variable correlated with a decrease or increase in the value of a given spectral index, respectively). In the western and southern parts of field no. 1, eastern part of field no. 3, central and eastern parts of field no. 4, as well as in a major part of field no. 2, the influence of explanatory factors was the smallest. Only in fields no. 2 and 4, the small zones of positive impact of the independent variables were observed. The results indicate that the former mining and geological conditions have a significant influence on the condition of the vegetation and soils of post-mining areas. Therefore, it is extremely important to monitor the changes taking place in these regions in order to undertake appropriate preventive works and eliminate the resulting damage.

How to cite: Buczyńska, A. and Blachowski, J.: New index for assessment of environment in post-mining area – Mining and Geology Impact Factor (MaGIF), EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1107,, 2022.