Environmental Effects of the Open Cast Mining a Case Study: Irbid Area, North Jordan


Jordan has huge limestone reserves which are used to produce aggregates for construction purposes. These reserves are very important economic sectors in Jordan, but many of these reserves belong to quarries that are located near urban territories. The mining operation type is mainly open cast and this activity has fugitive dust sources that contribute to increasing air quality levels in the urban areas around the quarries. Many of the biggest quarries in Jordan surrounded with urban territories are located in the north of Jordan district Irbid (Sammad area). Due to the quarrying activities, especially those from limestone quarrying (e.g. drilling and blasting, excavation, and transportation) in North Irbid, it is noticed that there is a primary source of an increased level of particulate matter (PM10), which leads to a potential representing pollution to the surrounding areas. PM consists of very small liquid and solid particles floating in the air with a diameter less than 10 microns that are subject to be inhaled into the deepest parts of the lung, and subsequently cause harmful health problems for population. PM10 dust re-suspension factors of the surrounding areas near the limestone quarries close to Sammad area/Irbid province were measured for different seasons at two station areas: Shatana and Rahma. To obtain data and assessment of the impact from this source, measurements included PM10 mass, particle size distributions, wind speed, and wind direction. The results showed that PM10 concentrations could be as high as 130 μg/m3, and that most of the airborne PM was in the coarse fraction. The results revealed that in winter season during the workday, the concentration of PM10 was equal to or below the Jordanian standard, while in summer season during workday the concentration of PM10 was over the Jordanian standard. However, forward trajectories showed that pollutants were attributed to the mining activities inside the quarries and distributed outside the mining area surrounding with urban territories.

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Titi, A. , Dweirj, M. and Tarawneh, K. (2015) Environmental Effects of the Open Cast Mining a Case Study: Irbid Area, North Jordan. American Journal of Industrial and Business Management, 5, 404-423. doi: 10.4236/ajibm.2015.56041.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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