Garzweiler Coal Mine in Germany

March 07, 2018

Jüchen RakStat L4 II- 035 - det1 heko sharp (1)

Photographer: Hans Juergen Heyen 
Summary Author: Hans Juergen Heyen 

The photo above was made at the edge of a huge, opencast coal mine (called Garzweiler I) between Düsseldorf, Cologne and Aachen, Germany. The mass of sand and earthen material piled at left is the overburden of a second mine (Garzweiler II, out of view in the background), that's to be used to fill the first mine once all the coal has been extracted. Looking down at the bottom of the gaping hole (it's approximately 650 ft or 200 m deep) is likely to make you feel a little dizzy. It should be noted that the earth removed to make the first mine is unavailable as refill material since it's already been used in other parts of this mining complex.

Because there will be no third mine, the question becomes what will be used to fill Garzweiler II? The present plan is to use water from the Rhine River to fill the crater, making it the third largest lake in all of Germany. Balancing environmental concerns with energy requirements is tricky business, and often the decided-upon solutions are unlikely to satisfy all parties involved. Photo taken on January 16, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera: Panasonic Model DMC-FZ300; Exposure Time: 0.013s (1/80); Aperture: ƒ/2.8; ISO equivalent: 100; Focal Length (35mm): 26; Software: Microsoft Windows Photo Gallery 6.