Visual impact of quarrying in the Polish Carpathians

Valentina Dentoni, Giorgio Massacci, Barbara D. Radwanek-Bąk


Landscape alteration is generally one of the most significant impacts resulting from surface mining and quarrying, particularly when the excavation activities are located within environmentally sensitive areas. We describe the results of two different methods of visual impact assessment applied to selected case studies in the Polish Carpathians. The study concerns areas of significant landscape value and holiday destinations for many people living in the Silesian and Kraków urban-industrial agglomerations. One of the two methods refers to the EC decision 272/02, which establishes ecological criteria for the award of the Community eco-label for hard floor-coverings. The second method was proposed in previous research and is based on the application of a visual impact indicator (Lvi) in which two objective aspects of landscape alteration are included: the extent of the visible excavation and its chromatic contrast with its surroundings. The results of the two methods are compared and discussed for each of the case studies considered.


quarrying; environment; visual impact; digital pictures; solid angle; chromatic contrast

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