Assessing the success of ecosystem rehabilitation on open cut coal mining in the Bowen Basin, Queensland Australia
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Wayne BoydWayne Boyd
Achieving mine closure is intrinsically linked to the selection and successful rehabilitation of a suitable post mining land use. The diverse localities and nature of mining operations require flexible, adaptable and progressive rehabilitation techniques in order to achieve this objective. Similarly, standardised, comparative and repeatable methods for assessing the success of ecosystem rehabilitation are desirable. In Queensland, Australia environmental evaluations that quantify the risk of a rehabilitated site failing are vital to obtaining progressive or final rehabilitation sign off. Key aspects important to rehabilitated ecosystem assessments are characterisation of their states, identifying their transitional trajectories and assessing their resilience. A two stage assessment process is presented. The first stage involves comparative analyses of rehabilitation site monitoring data against reference or analogue sites (similarity assessments) and the second stage consists of scenario based future state simulations to determine resilience and to assess risk based potential failure (prognostic simulations). Ecological structure analysis (clustering and ordination) and probability based cellular automata spatial modelling are the respective tools and techniques employed.