Remote and ground-based observations of land cover restoration after forest reclamation within a brown coal basin

Keywords: forest reclamation, land cover, remote sensing


The Semyonovsky - Golovkovsky brown - coal deposit is located within the boundaries of the Dnieper basin geological group and is located in the Alexandria mining region on the watershed of the Ingulets and Beshka rivers. Overburden rocks are loess - like, red - brown and glauconite - containing loams, kaolin and carbonaceous clays quartz, glauconite - containing and carbonaceous sands. The total area of reclaimed land was about 1006 hectares, of which 39 % was used for agriculture, 2 % was pasture and 59 % under forest reclamation. Geomorphologic assessment of the studied area was performed using Sentinel-1 satellite radar interferometry. Multispectral imagery of Sentinel -2 satellite system was used for remote assessment within the study area. We assessed the state of the Robina pseudoacacia plants growing under various forest conditions, in plantations created on the reclaimed landscapes of the Semenovsky - Golovkovsky brown coal basin. The processes of self-regulation and restoration of fertility on the reclaimed lands at the first stages of their biological development were slowed down. This significantly reduced the resistance of phytocenoses, both pure and mixed, to the conditions of the environment to which they were exposed. A comparison of the inventory stem wood of the black locust showed the superiority of monoculture plantations to mixed stands of pine - black locust and maple - black locust. The forest-forming process progresses with age. Remote assessment of the territories was conducted to assess the future prospects of biological conservation of reclaimed lands. The influence of the anthropogenic factor is observed throughout the section and is manifested in the man-made formation of the relief, reshaping of dumps, removal to the surface of overburden rocks. It is established that the height values can vary from 85 m to 213 m. 82.8 % of the surveyed area has not undergone significant changes in relief. About 15.5 % of the territory was under the influence of alluvial - diluvia processes. There have been corresponding changes in the share of vegetation according to vegetation cover fraction (VCF) over the past three years. The highest moisture content at the level of 0.2 - 0.3 relative units in 2015 was recorded in the territory occupying 78.4 % . Meanwhile, the shares of land cover with this level of humidity increased by almost 9% during the following 3 years to 2018. The highest density of vegetative cover was recorded in the North -Western part of the study area of forest reclamation. Thus, considering the potential suitability of the area for forest reclamation, we should note the important role of geomorphological, geological and water resources for the growth and development (formation) of plant communities.

Author Biographies

Oleksandr M. Masiuk
Oles Honchar Dnipro National University
Mykola M. Kharytonov
Dnipro State Agrarian and Economic University
Sergey A. Stankevich
Scientific Centre for Aerospace Research of the Earth, NAS of Ukraine


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How to Cite
Masiuk, O., Kharytonov, M., & Stankevich, S. (2020). Remote and ground-based observations of land cover restoration after forest reclamation within a brown coal basin. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 29(1), 135-145.