Last updated: 2/25/10
This list includes resources for understanding the effects of
sand and gravel mining on wetland plants, perennial seeps, and
Besch KW, Roberts Pichette P. 1970. Effects of mining
pollution on vascular plants in the Northwest Miramichi River
system. Canadian Journal of Botany 48: 1647-56.
Abstract: Copper-zinc mining pollution effects on
riparian and aquatic vascular plants were studied in the
Northwest Miramichi River system of northern New Brunswick.
After a period of 8 years, the riparian vascular flora of
the river system's gravel shores has been completely
eliminated or seriously reduced. The most sensitive plants
are the submersed aquatic species, followed by riparian
dicotyledons. Monocotyledons are less sensitive than
dicotyledons and Equisetum arvense the least sensitive
species. A rough index of pollution severity was devised
based on the absence of species or species groups which
would normally be present under unpolluted conditions.
Castro, Janine. 2006.
Sediment removal bibliography. Portland, OR : US Fish and
This is an extensive bibliography on effects of gravel mining,
mainly on fish and fish habitat.
Femmer, Suzanne R. 2002.
Instream Gravel mining and related issues in Southern Missouri.
USGS Fact Sheet 012–02.
Friends of the Gualala River.
Gravel mining in the Gualala River – Environmental review
Graham Environmental Services, Inc. 2008.
S.M. Hentges and Sons sand and gravel mine sensitive species
Hancock, Peter J. 2002.
Human impacts on the stream–groundwater exchange zone.
Environmental Management 29(6): 763-781.
Abstract: Active exchanges of water and dissolved
material between the stream and groundwater in many porous
sand- and gravel-bed rivers create a dynamic ecotone
called the hyporheic zone. Because it lies between two
heavily exploited freshwater resources—rivers and
groundwater—the hyporheic zone is vulnerable to impacts
coming to it through both of these habitats. This review
focuses on the direct and indirect effects of human
activity on ecosystem functions of the hyporheic zone.
River regulation, mining, agriculture, urban, and
industrial activities all have the potential to impair
interstitial bacterial and invertebrate biota and disrupt
the hydrological connections between the hyporheic zone
and stream, groundwater, riparian, and floodplain
ecosystems. Until recently, our scientific ignorance of
hyporheic processes has perhaps excused the inclusion of
this ecotone in river management policy. However, this no
longer is the case as we become increasingly aware of the
central role that the hyporheic zone plays in the
maintenance of water quality and as a habitat and refuge
for fauna. To fully understand the impacts of human
activity on the hyporheic zone, river managers need to
work with scientists to conduct long-term studies over
large stretches of river. River rehabilitation and
protection strategies need to prevent the degradation of
linkages between the hyporheic zone and surrounding
habitats while ensuring that it remains isolated from
toxicants. Strategies that prevent anthropogenic
restriction of exchanges may include the periodic release
of environmental flows to flush silt and reoxygenate
sediments, maintenance of riparian buffers, effective land
use practices, and suitable groundwater and surface water
Kerns, Molly Ann. 1988.
Inventory and hazard assessment of Maryland's coastal sand and
gravel wash plants and ponds. Coastal Resources Division,
Tidewater Administration, Department of Natural Resources.
King’s Mark Environmental Review Team. 2006.
Sunwood Development Corporation sand and gravel mining special
permit, Hamden, Connecticut.
Kondolf, G.M. 1994. Geomorphic and environmental effects of
instream gravel mining. Landscape Urban Planning 28: 225–243.
Abstract: Instream gravel mining involves the
mechanical removal of gravel and sand directly from the
active channel of rivers and streams. Active channel
deposits are desirable as construction aggregate because
they are typically durable (weak materials having been
eliminated in river transport), well-sorted, and
frequently located near markets or on transportation
routes. Instream gravel mining commonly causes incision
of the channel bed, which can propagate upstream and
downstream for kilometers. As a result, bridges and
other structures may be undermined, spawning gravels
lost and alluvial water tables lowered. In analyzing the
effects of instream gravel mining, a sediment budget
analysis sheds light on the relative magnitude of gravel
supply, transport and extraction. Computer models of
sediment transport are simplifications of complex
natural processes; they can be useful components of a
sediment budget analysis but should not be relied upon
alone. A historical analysis of channel change and
sediment supply is needed to understand the underlying
processes responsible for present conditions. While
instream gravel mining can be a useful tool in flood
control and river stabilization in aggrading rivers,
most rivers in the developed world (certainly the vast
majority below reservoirs) are not aggrading and are
more prone to incision-related effects of instream
Kondolf, G. Mathias. 1997.
Hungry water: Effects of dams and gravel mining on river
channels. Environmental Management 21(4): 533-551.
Langer, William H. 2002.
overview of the technology of in-stream mining of sand and
gravel resources, associated potential environmental impacts,
and methods to control potential impacts. U.S. Geological
Survey Open-File Report 02-153.
Langer, William H. and Belinda F. Arbogast. 2003.
Environmental impacts of mining natural aggregate. In: Fabbri,
Andrea G.; Gaál, Gabor; McCammon, Richard B. (Eds.) Deposit
and Geoenvironmental Models for Resource Exploitation and
Environmental Security. Boston : Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Murphy, Patrick B. and Robert S. Boyd. 1999. Population status
and habitat characterization of the endangered plant,
Sarracenia rubra subspecies alabamensis. Castanea 64(2):
Abstract: The Alabama canebrake pitcher plant,
Sarracenia rubra ssp. alabamensis, is an endemic
species found in just three counties of central
Alabama. This study includes a census of this species,
as well as an assessment of the viability of each
population. Only eleven sites remain, ranging in size
from 2 m super(2) to 2,200 m super(2). Numbers of
individual plants at each site ranged from 4 to 2,241.
There was an uneven distribution of individuals
between sites, with 60% of the total occurring at just
one site. Most sites were classified as seepage bogs
with characteristic acid soils. Associated species
included other typical wetland plants and three other
kinds of carnivorous plants, and invasive woody plants
were prevalent at most sites. Only three of the eleven
sites were considered to contain viable populations.
Threats to these sites included development, livestock
grazing, mining, and the absence of fire. We conclude
that S. rubra ssp. alabamensis requires immediate
management action to maintain these dwindling
National Marine Fisheries Service.
National Gravel Extraction Policy.
Packer, D. B., K. Griffin, and K. E. McGlynn. 2005.
Extraction Guidance: A review of the effects of in- and
near-stream gravel extraction on anadromous fishes and their
habitats, with recommendations for avoidance, minimization,
and mitigation. NOAA Technical Memorandum NMFS-F/SPO-70.
Partridge TR. 1992 Vegetation recovery following sand mining
on coastal dunes at Kaitorete Spit, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Biological Conservation 61: 59-71.
Abstract: A section of the extensive sand dunes
at Kaitorete Spit, Canterbury, New Zealand, has been
mined for sand over a period of 40 years. Unmined
dunes are dominated by dense stands of the otherwise
now restricted indigenous sand binder Desmoschoenus
spiralis , making them an area of great conservation
value. Plant communities on mined surfaces of
various age and on unmined dunes were examined by
using classification and ordination. Classification
clearly distinguished communities of unmined and
mined dunes respectively. The principal ordination
gradients represent the typical landward dune
sequence and the mined/unmined differences. Although
there are sites on unmined dunes that carry
vegetation of the mined group, there is no evidence
that mined sites have recovered communities typical
of the unmined dunes. The conclusion is that there
is no sign of recovery of the original dune
communities despite partial colonisation by
Ripley, Earle A., Robert E. Redmann and Adele A. Crowder (eds).
1996. Environmental effects of mining. Delray Beach, FL : St.
Roell, Michael J. 1999.
Sand and gravel mining in Missouri stream systems: Aquatic
resource effects and management alternatives. Columbia,
Missouri : Missouri Department of Conservation.
Scott, Michael L., Patrick B. Shafroth and Gregor T. Auble.
1999. Responses of riparian cottonwoods to alluvial water
table declines. Environmental Management 23(3): 347-358.
Abstract: Populus species typically dominate
riparian ecosystems throughout arid and semiarid
regions of North American and efforts to minimize
loss of riparian Populus requires an integrated
understanding of the role of surface and
groundwater dynamics in the establishment of new,
and maintenance of existing, stands. In a
controlled, whole-stand field experiment, we
quantified responses of Populus morphology,
growth, and mortality to water stress resulting
from sustained water table decline following
in-channel sand mining along an ephemeral sandbed
stream in eastern Colorado, USA. We measured live
crown volume, radial stem growth, annual branch
increment, and mortality of 689 live Populus
deltoides subsp. monilifera stems over four years
in conjunction with localized water table
declines. Measurements began one year prior to
mining and included trees in both affected and
unaffected areas. Populus demonstrated a threshold
response to water table declines in medium
alluvial sands; sustained declines ≥1 m produced
leaf desiccation and branch dieback within three
weeks and significant declines in live crown
volume, stem growth, and 88% mortality over a
three-year period. Declines in live crown volume
proved to be a significant leading indicator of
mortality in the following year. A logistic
regression of tree survival probability against
the prior year's live crown volume was significant
(−2 log likelihood = 270, χ2 with 1 df = 232,
P < 0.0001) and trees with absolute declines in
live crown volume of ≥30 during one year had
survival probabilities <0.5 in the following year.
In contrast, more gradual water table declines of
~0.5 m had no measurable effect on mortality, stem
growth, or live crown volume and produced
significant declines only in annual branch growth
increments. Developing quantitative information on
the timing and extent of morphological responses
and mortality of Populus to the rate, depth, and
duration of water table declines can assist in the
design of management prescriptions to minimize
impacts of alluvial groundwater depletion on
existing riparian Populus forests.
Trites, Marsha; Bayley, Suzanne E. 2009. Vegetation
communities in continental boreal wetlands along a salinity
gradient: Implications for oil sands mining reclamation.
Aquatic Botany 91(1): 27-39.
Abstract: Oil sands mining is a major
disturbance to boreal landscapes in
north-eastern Alberta, Canada. Freshwater
peatlands dominate the landscape prior to
mining, but the post-mining reclamation
landscape will have wetlands that span a
salinity gradient. Little is known about the
native vegetation communities in subsaline and
saline marshes in the boreal region, yet these
communities offer the best potential for
reclamation of wetlands after oil sands mining.
The overall intent of this study is to provide
information on natural wetland communities along
a gradient of salinities that can be used to
enhance oil sands wetland reclamation. Our
specific study objectives were to: (1)
characterize environmental conditions of
industrial and natural wetlands, (2)
characterize vegetation communities (composition
and diversity) in these wetlands, (3) and
explore how vegetation communities (composition
and diversity) may be influenced by
environmental conditions. We surveyed vegetation
communities and environmental variables in 25
natural boreal wetlands along a salinity
gradient and in 10 industrial marshes in the oil
sands mining region. We observed an electrical
conductivity (EC) range of
0.5–28mScm<sup>−1</sup> in the wetlands,
indicating that salinity similar to or higher
than anticipated for oil sands reclamation is
naturally present in some boreal wetlands. We
observed low species richness in both industrial
and natural wetlands. There were 101 plant
species observed in all the wetlands, with 82
species recorded in the natural wetlands and 44
species in industrial wetlands. At the plot
level, richness decreased with increasing EC and
pH, but increased with soil organic matter.
Using Cluster Analysis and indicator species
analysis we defined 16 distinct vegetation
community types, each dominated by one or two
species of graminoid vegetation. In general
these communities resembled those of boreal or
prairie marshes. Electrical conductivity, pH,
and water depth were important factors
correlating with community composition of the
wetlands, however peat depth and soil organic
content did not differ among community types.
Not all community types were present in
industrial wetlands, indicating that these
communities may need to be planted to enhance
overall diversity in future reclaimed oil sands
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