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Aerial photography of Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining in Appalachia. MTR is a destructive type of coal mining that damages watersheds.
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Mountain Top Removal
Aerials of Mountain Top Removal in Appalachia
A few years ago, I tacked on some extra flight time after a commercial assignment to shoot a series on Mountain Top Removal in Southern West Virginia. Audubon Magazine ran a really nice four-page spread of the images in 2007. I am currently working on a new project about surface mining and decided to take a look at my original take and see how I could strengthen the message in the images I plan to shoot.

Mountain Top Removal is a destructive form of surface mining that removes the overburden of a mountain - hence the name - Mountain top Removal - in order to get to the coal seams without tunneling into the mountain.  It is faster cheaper and safer than traditional coal mining.  However, it destroys the mountain and surrounding watersheds.