Land Restoration

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Land Restoration


(Russian, rekul’tivatsiia landshafta), restoring the productivity of land that has become unusable as a result of human activity, such as mining, building hydroengineering complexes, clearing forests, or building cities. For example, the area of agricultural and other useful land in Great Britain has decreased by 60,000 hectares (ha) since the 12th century because of mining. In the German Democratic Republic roughly 50,000 ha are covered by waste dumps made during brown coal mining.

The USSR also has land that has been ruined by economic activity. In underground mining areas, subsidence sometimes occurs, and dump heaps occupy large areas. As a result of open-cut mining, large tracts are lost to quarries and waste dumps. Destroyed land may also be found at the site of peat excavations, slag heaps, and eroded areas. Restoration usually involves grading positive relief forms, evening out slopes and seeding them with grass, and covering the area with a layer of fertile soil and mineral fertilizers. Later, the land is allocated for agricultural use, reforestation, or the planting of meadows. Land restoration is much easier if the storage of soils, even dumping of rock, and other measures aimed at creating an improved landscape are planned in advance and included in the mining process.

Excavated peat bogs, quarries, and subsidence areas formed by underground mining operations are often filled with water and turned into fish ponds. Near cities, restored land is sometimes used to create parks and water sports complexes.


Motorina, L. V., and N. M. Zabelina. Rekul’tivatsiia zemel’, narushen-nykh gornodo by vaiushchei promyshlennosl’iu. Moscow, 1968.
Lazareva, I. V. Vosstanovlenie narushennykh territorii dlia grado-stroitel’stva. Moscow, 1972.
Kravchino, O. P., and A. A. Mazurov. Rekul’tivatsiia zemel’, narushennykh otkrytymigornymi rabotami [survey]. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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