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The Impact of Sand Mining on the Fluvial Environment: Case Study of Nzhelele River in Limpopo Province, South Africa

  • F. Sengani
  • T. Zvarivadza
Conference paper

Abstract

There is an increase in demand for sand in many parts of the world due to rapid economic development. This has led to extensive extraction of sand from rivers and other parts of the land; as a result, sand mining has considerable negative impacts on the fluvial environment and surrounding villagers. This study was carried out in order to identify and assess the environmental impacts of sand mining along Nzhelele River in Nzhelele villages. Geological principles, geotechnical principles, geographical information system (GIS) and remote sensing were used to assess the environmental impacts of sand mining along Nzhelele River Valley. To achieve the objectives of the study, data were collected through field observations, field measurements, soil and water sampling, laboratory analysis (water analysis and sieve analysis), questionnaire survey, the application of GIS methods [multi-temporal images (Landsat ETM + Images) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI)] were used. The results of the study have indicated that extensive extraction of sand has resulted into riverbank erosion, depletion in water quality, destruction of the riparian zone, reduction in farms and grazing land and air pollution were the negative impacts associated with sand mining along Nzhelele River. These results were also confirmed by remote sensing and GIS analysis. This research project was sponsored by Thulamela Municipality.

Keywords

Environmental impacts Sand mining Remote sensing and GIS NDVI Normalized difference vegetation index Fluvial environment 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mining EngineeringThe University of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

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