Ecological characteristics of reclaimed areas in Pernik mines region, Bulgaria

I. Kirilov*, M. Banov

Nikola Poushkarov Institute of Soil Science, Agrotechnologies and Plant Protection, Sofia, Bulgaria

(Manuscript received 5 August 2016; accepted for publication 29 April 2017)

Abstract. A referential literary analysis of the reclaimed area around coal mines near the town of Pernik, Bulgaria, is made in this paper. Affected areas (damaged, altered, etc.) around mining companies in the country are a serious environmental problem, including the territory of coal mines of Pernik which is a problem for the country. The area affected by the mining industry around Pernik occupies a territory of about 30 000 ha. As a result of the natural factors and the anthropogenic impact this region is characterized by a rather complicated soil situation. There are markedly expressed erosion and land-sliding processes on the slopes as well as conditions for surface over-humidification, swamping and salinization in some land lowering and on separate sections of the terraces of the rivers. The situation has acquired an exceptionally technogenic character after the development of the mines, the enormous pits and heaps and the construction of the industrial pads and equipment. The reclamation of environment in industrial areas is closely connected above all with the reclamation of disturbed areas and materials and can be performed in different ways according to their properties and economic effect. In connection with the extremely unfavorable conditions of a significant proportion of disturbed technogenic areas one of the basic methods is planting forests of production character or for recreational purpose. The inevitable degradation of the landscape can be corrected mainly by technical and biological reclamation of the disturbed terrains. A large part of the green belt of the town of Pernik was constructed on former heaps – mainly by afforestation. These activities have solved the problem of the separation of the town from the mining sites by a noise-preventing and dust-stopping embankment especially when the prevailing northwestern and northeastern winds are considered. Our main goal is to analyze and suggest the appropriate methods for biological reclamation of territories degraded by mining activities in Pernik coal mines region. That all proves the relevance and necessity of fundamental research and experimental work to identify opportunities for its targeted guidance and acceleration of the process. It has been established that almost all lands provided for agricultural uses are not cultivated and enter the fund of deserted lands. The basic reason for that fact is the lack of projects for biological reclamation and the insufficient justification of technical reclamation.