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Sand and gravel aggregate resource management and conservation in Northern Ireland

Knight, J, McCarron, SG, McCabe, AM and Sutton, B (1999) Sand and gravel aggregate resource management and conservation in Northern Ireland. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 56 (3). pp. 195-207. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1006/jema.1999.0280


Glaciofluvial landforms in Northern Ireland are important resource bodies for sand and gravel aggregate, and also form integrated geomorphic assemblages which have scenic and aesthetic importance in the landscape. Determining the overall `value' of sand and gravel features in economic and landscape terms involves making assumptions about their geotechnical properties, future extraction rates, and quantifying otherwise poorly-defined aesthetic attributes. This paper deals mainly with landscape economic, scientific and aesthetic `values' and rates of resource depletion on different spatial scales. Based on remote sensing, field mapping and automation of the data set using a geographical information system (GIS), glaciofluvial sand and gravel is calculated to cover 534 km(2) +/- 10% in Northern Ireland (similar to 3.4% of land area). By assuming specific deposit thicknesses for each landform type, mappable sand and gravel reserves are calculated to range between 2400 and 14 675 million tonnes. Based on low growth, high growth and `business as usual' scenarios of future annual increases in extraction rate from 1996 AD onwards, these reserves are calculated to have a lifespan of 48-314 yr (median value 132 yr). Case studies of the Glarryford esker complex and the Lough Fea deltas complex illustrate the local landscape importance of sand and gravel features. These case studies show that defining, quantifying and evaluating landscape resources at a local-scale is a necessary part of aggregate resource management and conservation where the overall resource-base is diminishing. (C) 1999 Academic Press.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Geography and Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Environmental Sciences Research Institute > Quaternary Environmental Change
Environmental Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:23091
Deposited By: Mrs Linda Allen
Deposited On:04 Sep 2012 11:11
Last Modified:04 Sep 2012 11:11

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