An accounting system for resources in rock aggregate quarries of the Uusimaa region in southern Finland

Category Other
Group GSI.IR
Location International Geological Congress,oslo 2008
Author Nurmi, Heikki; Harma, Paavo
Holding Date 09 September 2008

A preliminary project to develop an accounting service has been carried out in collaboration between the Finnish environmental administration and the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK). The accounting service is to be established within GTK’s data management system and will be utilized via the Internet. Besides rock aggregate data, GTK will include sand and gravel resources in the service, and data on a large variety of substitutive materials will eventually be added. This will be essential for the rational use of non-renewable natural resources based on sustainable development.
One part of the accountancy system comprises currently operating rock aggregate quarries, their inventory and monitoring. This work describes experiences gained in the mapping and inventory of rock aggregate quarries and also their extensions in one pilot area under the accounting system. On the pilot area, Uusimaa Region in Southern Finland, 9 million m3 all kinds of rock material is used annually, two thirds of which are quarried from bedrock. Furthermore available reserves of gravel are depleted and rock material has to be quarried or transported from outside of the area.
GTK’s hard rock aggregate inventory data have been used as basis of the accountancy system for rock aggregate quarries. These observations include data on the quality and amount of rock aggregates in cubic metres. Altogether, there were 26 active rock aggregate quarries in the study area in summer 2006. Consequently, the possible extensions of these quarries were also inventoried. The volume of bedrock areas was estimated to the 0 level of the terrain and also took into account potential extension of the area to 10 metres below the 0 level. Two separate rock material estimates were thus obtained. The work was carried using a GPS recorder and by following as closely as possible the perimeter of each quarry.
If quarrying is carried out to the 0 level of the terrain, it will be possible to obtain 17 million m3 of hard rock aggregates of a suitable quality for building in the Uusimaa region. If quarrying is extended an additional 10 metres below the 0-level, a further 24 million m3 of hard rock aggregates could be obtained. In this way we were therefore able to roughly estimate the amount and quality of hard rock aggregates in quarries of the Uusimaa region. This work did not take into account potential restrictions due to environmental protection, such as like Natura areas.
By carrying out this work we have gained an overview of the reserves of rock aggregate quarries in the Uusimaa region and of their future sufficiency. The results of the work have already helped Uusimaa Regional Council in regional planning. As the accountancy system is developed, we shall also add the boundaries of quarries and bedrock into the system. The work will continue in the future around nearby growth centres.