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Granite resource evaluation: example of an extraction area in the north of Portugal

Santos, Iva, Sousa, Luís, Lourenço, José
Environmental earth sciences 2018 v.77 no.17 pp. 608
geographic information systems, granite, infrastructure, land use planning, quarries, Portugal
The exploitation of granite resources and the consequent processing create several economic opportunities that provide the creation of infrastructures and services. This flourishing activity is based on the available resources which need to be identified and protected through an effective land use planning. In this study, the evaluation of the granite resources in an exploitation area was performed. The fracturing and the quality of the outcrops are fundamental factors to be considered during ornamental stone exploration, but for the evaluation of the available resources, land use planning constraints should be considered. All the collected data were processed in a geographic information system to determine the potential extractive areas. Considering the several limitations, namely active quarries and legal constraints, only 41.3% of the study area can be used for installing new quarries. Considering the fracturing limitations, these new quarries, with a mean depth and mean deposit yield of 12.5 m and 12.5%, respectively, will supply about 2.67 × 10⁶ m³ of granite. The results highlight the importance of an integrated evaluation of the natural stone resources since large areas not necessarily mean abundant resources.