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Mapping the Recovery Process of Vegetation Growth in the Copper Basin, Tennessee Using Remote Sensing Technology

Department of Biology, Geology and Environmental Science, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Dept. 2653, 615 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403, USA
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Received: 14 May 2020 / Revised: 14 June 2020 / Accepted: 18 June 2020 / Published: 22 June 2020
The Copper Basin (CB) of southeastern Tennessee, known as the Ducktown Mining District, is a classic example of forest and soil destruction due to extensive mining and smelting operations from the mid-1800s until 1987. The smelting operation released a sulfur dioxide by-product that formed sulfuric acid precipitation which, in combination with heavy logging, led to the complete denudation of all vegetation covering 130 km2 in CB. The area has since been successfully revegetated. This study used remote sensing technology to map the different episodes of this vegetation recovery process. A time series of Landsat imagery acquired from 1977 through 2017 at 10-year intervals was used to map and analyze the changes in vegetation cover in CB. These maps were used to generate a single thematic map indicating in which 10-year period each parcel of land was revegetated. Analysis shows that the extent of non-vegetated areas continuously decreased from about 38.5 to 2.5 km2 between 1977 and 2017. The greatest increase in vegetation regrowth occurred between 1987 and 1997, which was the period when all mining and smelting activities ceased. This research could be very useful to better understand the recovery process of areas affected by mining and smelting processes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Copper Basin; Ducktown; remote sensing; Landsat; vegetation recovery process Copper Basin; Ducktown; remote sensing; Landsat; vegetation recovery process
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MDPI and ACS Style

Blanton, R.; Hossain, A.K.M.A. Mapping the Recovery Process of Vegetation Growth in the Copper Basin, Tennessee Using Remote Sensing Technology. GeoHazards 2020, 1, 31-43. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geohazards1010004

AMA Style

Blanton R, Hossain AKMA. Mapping the Recovery Process of Vegetation Growth in the Copper Basin, Tennessee Using Remote Sensing Technology. GeoHazards. 2020; 1(1):31-43. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geohazards1010004

Chicago/Turabian Style

Blanton, Richard, and A.K.M. A. Hossain 2020. "Mapping the Recovery Process of Vegetation Growth in the Copper Basin, Tennessee Using Remote Sensing Technology" GeoHazards 1, no. 1: 31-43. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/geohazards1010004

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