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Provence Coalfield OHM was officially created in October 2007. Originally, the project was conceived as part of the Federative Research Institute "Pôle Méditerranéen des Sciences de l’Environnement" that became in January 2008 the research federation ECCOREV (FR 3098). The animation, the administration and operation of the Observatory are currently in to ECCOREV, but OHM has its own governance.

Provence Coalfield site was chosen for :

  • duration of mining in this territory and the recent closure of the last pit (2003) ;
  • environmental, economic and social footprint of the mine and related industrial activities in the territory ;
  • rapid changes that are accompanying the closure of the mine and expected future changes caused by industrial restructuring (including those concerning the future of the alumina plant) ;
  • diversity of scientific disciplines involved in the observation and the study of the adaptation to the post mining transition.

The first phase of the OHM (July 2007 - May 2008) has consisted of a large number of contacts made with researchers and organizations who may be interested in this approach or holding data used for research. The second phase began in May 2008 and is the starting point of effective work, with the establishment of a dedicated engineering position as well as the governance structures of the Observatory.

Each year since 2008, the OHM encourages multidisciplinary research through its Call for Research Proposal (CRP). The scientific projects may bear on preliminary studies, prior to the implementation of larger projects. Since 2011, the CRP is extended to all members of the OHM network, grouping seven similar observatories in France an abroad.

Observatoire Hommes-Milieux du Bassin Minier de Provence
Technopole de l'Environnement Arbois-Méditerranée
Avenue Louis PHILIBERT
Bâtiment Laennec
BP 80
Tél : +33 4 42 59 60 82