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Test site 1. Sokolov - Conceptual site model

This section shows a conceptual site model (CSM) for the Sokolov brown coal mining area in the North-West of the Bohemia Province, west of Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. The full report including detailed description of parameters can be retrieved here.

The aim is i) to present the available information regarding known apparent environmental impacts, ii) to define the environmental setting that would influence the transport of contaminants from the source to the exposed individuals or environmental receptors, through identified potential exposure pathways, iii) to describe the source- pathway-receptor interactions using a CSM.

Examining the CSM results in the identification of data gaps and information needed for a full environmental assessment of mining in Sokolov and provides the rational for EO selection.

Present and past opencast coal mining in Sokolov is associated with a number of environmental problems, including: local changes in landscape morphology and drainage networks; degradation of land use due to dumping of material; erosion of bare or thinly vegetated dump slopes; acid mine drainage (AMD) and discharge of highly mineralized waters from mine waste dumps; vegetation stress due to past or present contamination of air, soil, and water; limitation of mining due to established protective zones of the mineral, and thermal springs. Key knowledge gaps include a poor understanding of the source-receptor linkages, amongst others, e.g. the AMD - groundwater/surface water interaction, and poor quantification of each environmental pressure. Quantitative assessment of the extent of volume of waste, type and distribution is missing. Evidence of wind erosion as a dispersal mechanism and dust as an exposure pathway is not available. Information on the significance of subsidence and stability of overburden heaps is also unavailable. Changing land use and land degradation or remediation are major environmental issues to monitor.