Anthropogenic effects, processes, objects, or materials are those that are derived from human activities, as opposed to those occurring in natural environments without human influences. The term is often used in the context of environmental externalities in the form of chemical or biological wastes that are produced as by-products of otherwise purposeful human activities. (Source: European Environmental Agency)

Asset-Based Community Development builds on the assets that are found in the community and mobilizes individuals, associations, and institutions to come together to realize and develop their strengths. This makes it different to a Deficit Based approach that focuses on identifying and servicing needs.

Community voice: “the voices of people most impacted by a given program or service [that] should be heard and understood [in the planning and implementation of a project/service]” (Medora, D. (2019). Raising up community voice.)

Critical elements: An element, mineral or material, is critical if it is a) not easily accessible, b) there are no large resources or the resources are concentrated in one area, c) it depends on locality and how they are mined (sustainability, responsibility, politically)?, d) and whether or not this resource is recyclable.

Epithermal mineral ore deposits form at low temperatures of about 200-50 °C near the Earth’s surface (<1500 m). The ore minerals are mainly found in “veins”, filling fractures where the fluids circulated through.

Evaporite deposits are formed as a result of evaporation in the sea or a lake basin. The minerals that usually precipitate are mostly carbonates, gypsum and salt. They precipitate according to their solubility.

Evapotranspiration is the sum of all processes by which water moves from the land surface to the atmosphere via evaporation and transpiration. Evapotranspiration includes water evaporation into the atmosphere from the soil surface, evaporation from the capillary fringe of the groundwater table, and evaporation from water bodies on land. Evapotranspiration also includes transpiration, which is the water movement from the soil to the atmosphere via plants. Transpiration occurs when plants take up liquid water from the soil and release water vapor into the air from their leaves.

Transpiration has three main steps

  1.     Roots uptake water from the soil
  2.     Water moves through plant tissues, serving critical metabolic and physiologic functions in the plant
  3.     Leaves release water vapor into the air through their stomata

(Source USGS)

Hard-pan: In soil science, agriculture and gardening, hardpan or soil pan is a dense layer of soil, usually found below the uppermost topsoil layer. There are different types of hardpans, all sharing the general characteristic of being a distinct soil layer that is largely impervious to water. 

Heap leaching is an industrial mining process used to extract precious metals, copper, uranium, and other compounds from ore using a series of chemical reactions that absorb specific minerals and re-separate them after their division from other earth materials.
An example for gold: The ore is crushed into fine particles and piled up to large heaps. Onto these heaps a leaching solution is added (typically cyanide). This solution leaches the gold out of the ore and is collected. In the last step the gold is extracted from the now gold carrying solution.

Hydrosphere is a discontinuous layer of water at or near Earth’s surface. It includes all liquid and frozen surface waters, groundwater held in soil and rock, and atmospheric water vapour.

Hydrological processes:

  • Advection: Movement of evaporated water through the atmosphere
  • Condensation: The process of water changing from gaseous to liquid aggregate condition. Responsible for cloud formation, fog, mist and dew.
  • Evaporation: The process of water changing from liquid to gaseous aggregate condition. This requires a significant amount of energy, usually delivered by solar radiation. It is an important process in moving water from oceans to land.
  • Groundwater flow: Subsurface water flows along cracks, joints and pore space in the direction of the hydrological gradient.
  • Infiltration: Movement of water into the soil. The rate of infiltration is affected by the type of soil.
  • Interception: Temporary storage of water on the surface of plants, buildings before reaching the surface.
  • Mineral hydration: water reacts with minerals to form hydrous minerals. This happens, as sea water seeps into the oceanic lithosphere via fractures and pores. The water is then stored within the crystal structure.
  • Percolation: water entering the rocks below the soil using the rock’s permeable pore space. Permeable pathways can also be realized by joints or faults.
  • Plate tectonics and subduction: The crystalline water within hydrous minerals is transported into the deep mantle via subduction. By sinking and simultaneously heating up, the oceanic plate releases fluids, what induces its melting
  • Precipitation: Any form of water (rain, sleet, snow), descending from the atmosphere to land or oceans.
  • Runoff: when precipitation meets a water-saturated soil, runoff occurs. This can also happen in arid areas, where the soil is baked hard and cannot absorb the water.
  • Subsurface flow or throughflow. Water moves through soil under the force of gravity towards rivers and other water bodies
  • Transpiration: Transfer of water vapour from vegetation to the atmosphere. This process is heavily influenced by wind speed, water availability, air temperature and seasons.
  • Volcanic eruptions: Eruptions are usually associated with volatiles. Volatiles emerging from subduction zones are transported into the overlying upper lithosphere due to their lower density. Volcanic activity returns the volatiles into the oceans and atmosphere.

Hydrothermal ore deposits form at lower temperatures than ~700°C. They form in and around magmatic rocks due to mineral precipitation from aqueous solutions or hydrothermal fluids. 

In situ leaching (ISL), also known as solution mining, or in situ recovery (ISR) in North America, involves leaving the ore where it is in the ground, and recovering the minerals from it by dissolving them and pumping the pregnant solution to the surface where the minerals can be recovered. Consequently, there is little surface disturbance and no tailings or waste rock generated

Literacy: Ways of meaning, making, communicating, and coming into relation with the world through texts, objects, experiences, events, and matter (semiotic processes)

Loess: In some parts of the world, windblown dust and silt blanket the land. This layer of fine, mineral-rich material is called loess. Loess is mostly created by wind but can also be formed by glaciers. When glaciers grind rocks to a fine powder, loess can form. Streams carry the powder to the end of the glacier. This sediment becomes loess.

Magmatic ore deposits are deposits that form during cooling and crystallization within magmatic rocks or along their contacts, because these processes can lead to the separation and the concentration of minerals.

Open-pit mining is the most common type of surface mining used around the globe, which includes the removal of the overburden.

Overburden is rock and soil, overlying the economically minable minerals and metals and has to be removed by using explosives and heavy machinery.

Pegmatites are the late crystallization products of a residual melt after most of the minerals have crystallized out of the magma. Elements that have a large ionic radius or charge, and therefore do not fit easily in the most common minerals crystal lattice, are enriched in this melt, e.g. Li, Be, B, P, F, Nb Ta and W.

Placer deposits are secondary mineral accumulations in sediments. In this case minerals are enriched in sediments due to their density in different flow conditions in rivers or wave movement, tides, etc.

Privilege: A set of unearned or earned advantages, rights, freedoms, or benefits given to a group of people based on group membership.

  • privileged groups are considered to be the normative groups, while everyone else is minoritized and othered
  • privileged group membership is not a choice and individuals often are not aware of how these advantages benefit them

(Adapted from University of Wisconsin Multicultural Student Center Social Justice Educators (2019))

Positionality is defined as “the stance or positioning of the researcher in relation to the social and political context of the study—the community, the organization or the participant group” (Coghlan & Brydon-Miller, 2014).

Power: The ability or authority to decide what is best for others. Who has access to resources, or what is perceived as normal. (Adapted from University of Wisconsin Multicultural Student Center Social Justice Educators (2019))

Regolith can be defined as “…loose unconsolidated rock and dust that sits atop a layer of bedrock. On Earth, regolith also includes soil, which is a biologically active medium and a key component in plant growth.

Residual ore deposits do not form due to enrichment of an element, but they are insoluble products of rock weathering. They usually form in tropical and subtropical climates due to intense weathering of rocks.

Resource refers to all the materials available in our environment which are technologically accessible, economically feasible and culturally sustainable and help us to satisfy our needs and wants.

Saprolite is a chemically weathered rock. Saprolites form in the lower zones of soil profiles and represent deep weathering of the bedrock surface.

Subduction is a geological process where an oceanic plate runs into another plate and slides beneath it. A typical example is the western South American coast, where an oceanic plate slides beneath the South American continent. This is the reason for the formation of the Andes and all the volcanoes in the mountain range.

Underground mining is a method of mining that extracts ore from underneath the earth’s surface. The entry from the earth’s surface to the underground mine may be created via a horizontal or vertical tunnel (also known as adit, shaft, and decline).

Water pollution is the contamination of water sources by substances which make the water unusable for drinking, cooking, cleaning, swimming, and other activities. Pollutants include chemicals, trash, bacteria, and parasites. All forms of pollution eventually make their way to water. Air pollution settles onto lakes and oceans. Land pollution can seep into an underground stream, then to a river, and finally to the ocean.