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Themes of research

The area offers an ideal field for various disciplines.

The legacy of the mine includes an immense network of underground galleries, down to more than one km, and today being filled with water, a set of “terrils” (slag heaps), many old pits, and hundreds of ancient “descenderies” (descents).

Many issues are at stake with the long term effects of the mining period : landslides, induced seismicity, water pollution and water reserves, heavy metals in the terrils and the soils, long term health impacts, agricultural practices, urban organisation and infrastructures, ...

The other industries (alumina and cement) imply another set of issues with pollution in the air and the ground, dusts, odours, noise, aesthetics of landscape, hidden effects of metals and materials used in the microelectronic industry and many health consequences. The urban extension also influences the dynamics the vegetation and the forest environment, which are furthermore affected by frequent forest fires.

From the human standpoint, the mine has attracted immigrants representing a wide variety of European and Mediterranean peoples. Many of these families constitute an important part of the total population, working in the new activities. The mixture of this population with a new breed of urban commuters, who come back to their home after work, offers an interesting field for psychological and sociological studies of the attitudes towards environmental issues.

Problématique BMP : schéma

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