Open Cut » Environment
The primary objective of this project was to integrate the development of the laboratory-based erosion methodology and models derived from ACARP projects 1629 and 4011 into a user friendly Integrated Erosion and Landscape Design Package that is readily usable for:
- deriving landscape design parameters suitable for controlling erosion,
- monitoring erosion rates from rehabilitated and surrounding undisturbed landscapes.
Following completion of the project, technology transfer activities will be initiated in collaboration with the Australian Center for Mining Environmental Research (ACMER). A series of hands-on training workshops for environmental officers, regulators, consultants and other interested parties are planned. Prof LC Bell has indicated that funds will be made available from the Queensland Coal Mine Rehabilitation Fund, which ACMER administers, to assist in this process.
The MINErosion version 2.2 software was further developed into an integrated package that can be used to derive relevant parameters for landscape design and predict the potential erosion rates from defined landscape conditions, based on laboratory and portable field rainfall simulators. It should also be useable to monitor rates of erosion on rehabilitated landscapes as they mature, using portable field rainfall simulators. Information required for this development was derived from other projects funded by Kidston Goldmine Ltd and other consultancies with MIM at Mt Isa and Blair Athol.
A complete prototype package was developed and named MINErosion 3 to maintain continuity with the earlier version and to indicate its main use for mine sites. This prototype was initially tested at the University of Queensland, with 9 people with varying computer skills. Part of this test was to evaluate its value as an educational tool as well as design tool - feedback was positive.
In June 2003, a second test session with 6 mine site based environmental officers was conducted at the German Creek Mine training rooms and the general opinion on the usefulness and ease of use was very positive. Further improvement to the package was undertaken based on feedback from these test sessions. Small teething problems were encountered and needed to be sorted out adequately before release of the package. Test participants found the package easy to learn and use and we are encouraged that it may be used more frequently at the mine sites.
The computer package is now completed and is released as MINErosion version 3.01. This version will require further modifications and adjustments with time and experience. With agreement from the ACARP monitoring team, we have undertaken to maintain the package on the University of Queensland, Soils website (http://www.uq.edu.au/soils) and update the package as required to maintain it as a relevant working package. When significant changes have been introduced, it may be renamed as different versions.
The CD contains the summary report, an introductory note (Read Me.pdf), an Introduction to MINErosion 3.01 as a Power Point presentation which also act as a quick introduction on the use of the package; and the MINErosion 3.01 package including the installation program. The package will be useable on Windows 98 and later operating systems and comes as two versions, one for the Windows 98 and the second for the Windows XP/2000 versions. It is not possible at this stage to combine them into one package for all the operating systems.
UQ will also make copies of the software available on CD, for use where difficulties are encountered with downloading. Other avenues to promote adoption of the software by industry will also be pursued by UQ, including participation in an ACMER workshop on landscape design. Other possible avenues are presentations to the CQMRG and the Hunter Valley rehabilitation groups and provision of notes for their newsletters on the package and its availability on the UQ Soils website.