Krümmelbein, J., Bens, O., Raab, T. and Naeth, M. A. 2012. A history of lignite coal mining and reclamation practices in Lusatia, eastern Germany. Can. J. Soil Sci. 92: 53-66. Germany is the world's leading lignite coal producer. The region surrounding the towns of Cottbus and Senftenberg in Lusatia, Eastern Germany, is one of the largest mining areas in Germany, and has economically been strongly dependent on lignite mining and lignite processing industries since the middle of the 19th century. We introduce the area, give a brief historical overview of lignite mining techniques and concentrate on post-mining recultivation (reclamation) to agricultural and forestry dominated landscapes. An overview of the physical and chemical limitations for reclamation of the Tertiary and Quaternary substrates due to their natural composition and the technical processes of mine site construction is provided. We introduce some recultivation practices and end with a display of land uses before and after mining and an outlook on the future use of the reclaimed landscape. This review serves as a defined perspective on long-term coal mine reclamation from which to address global similarities and contrasts.
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