Open cast coal mines, seen from space. Natural colour satellite view of extensive open cast mines south of Cottbus, Germany. These mines are used to obtain brown coal, a low-grade coal used in some industries (notably steel making). These mines cover hundreds of square kilometres, and are on land which was once part of East Germany. Similar mines are seen in many eastern European countries, where there have not existed any regulations regarding land reclamation or recovery. The environmental impact of such mining is of considerable concern in modern Germany. This image was gathered by a Landsat satellite.
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