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Science of the Comstock - Environment

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Environment Topics:
Mine Wastes
Influence of Mining


Mining the Comstock introduced changes into the environment, locally and more widespread. These changes may be categorized in mine wastes or urbanization. This section provides some material for discussion of these changes. Influence of Mining presents initial consideration into the support industries that developed because of the mining. The further consequences of the development of these industries is left to the readers to consider. The urbanization section discusses some of the effects of gathering all the people needed to run the industries. The mine wastes section brings out the problems that former mining techniques and accepted societal disregard for the environment caused. Modern regulations and mining practices have reduced that type of damage caused to the environment, but vigilance must be maintained. The photograph of mine dumps north of Virginia City illustrates a change to the environment from the juniper and pinion pin-dotted hills of undisturbed land to the taller Jeffrey pines that grow on the naturally hydrothermally altered rocks brought to the surface by the mining. The form of the landscape has also changed.

Depiction of environmental mine waste North of Virginia, characterized by mine dumps.