Department of Mineral Resources

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Environmental Geology for Environment Planning and Management

08 Jan 2021

Fast-growing regions are the areas around major urban centers, which are generally characterized by high exploitation rates of the geological resources (mineral raw materials, groundwater, and soil) as well as by increasing competing demands towards the use of the available land, if not supported by information on the availability, quality and vulnerability of the geological resources, serious environmental impacts are likely to occur such as groundwater overuse, loss of fertile soil, destruction of the landscape as well as soil and groundwater pollution, etcThe Department of Mineral Resources have been emphatically carrying out environmental geology work since 1996 with support of the Federal institute A project called "Environment Geology for Regional Planning” was established to provide relevant geological information and its application for land use planning and development in fast-growing regions of Thailand.

Groundwater extraction for Irrigation
Groundwater Protection

Water consumption for domestic use, irrigation, and industrial purposes is high and is expected to grow rapidly in the future. Overexploitation and pollution are major threats to groundwater resources.

The project has set up a hydrogeological database that stores detailed information from groundwater wells. Thematic maps display: "Exploitation Potential”, "Basic Quality Assessment”, "Vulnerability”, "Protection Demands” and "Pollution Hazard”.

Areas for Waste Disposal Sites

The disposal of domestic and industrial waste under environmentally sustainable conditions has become a matter of high priority for many places in Thailand, Operating and abandoned waste sites have increasingly developed into sources of serious environmental pollution.

Nong Harn Landfill In Chiang Mai

Rocks and Sediments can act as a natural and efficient barrier against toxic lea hates originating from waste disposal sites. Important criteria for such a geological barrier are high clay content, a thickness of at least 5 m, and sufficient lateral extension. A geological barrier will block or retard the spread of pollutants to the groundwater if the man-made barrier of a waste disposal site proves insufficient or fails.

The search for geological barrier rocks is supported by a database application querying the lithological information from groundwater wells. GIS overlay techniques are used for further data processing and presentation. Thematic maps display the distribution of "Potential Barrier Rock” and outline "Recommended Areas for Site investigation”.

Construction Raw Materials

High demand for construction raw materials has led in the project area to widespread and largely uncontrolled mining activities from various clay sand and gravel pits as well as from quarries and riverbed sand-sucking sites, serious environmental impacts are frequently visible. The project database provides an inventory of mining sites including information for environmental impact assessment. The thematic map "Prospective Areas for Construction Raw Materials” displays proven and potential exploitation sites for sand/gravel, brick clay, and aggregates.

Uncontrolled Mining of Filling material

Soils have a key function in the geological environment. Agricultural use, fertility, natural vegetation, readability, groundwater storage capacity, and aspects of soil protection are all closely related to distinct soil types and their physical and chemical parameters. The project has compiled in close cooperation with the Department of Land Development (DLD) all relevant soil information. The DLD’s Soil Information System (SIS) stores soil data on a countrywide scale. GIS-based thematic maps from the project area provide information on soil classes, natural vegetation, and agricultural use as well as on potential soil fertility and soil texture.

Sustainable agriculture depends on Preservation of fertile soil
Natural Hazards

Assessment of the risk potential of natural hazards (e.g.: flooding, active faults, earthquakes, landslides, land subsidence) is an important aspect of environmental geology. Human life and property can be protected if adequate information and risk prevention measures are taken into account. Flood events occur most commonly in the low lying basin parts close to the major river systems. This hazard information is especially important for flood sensitive land use like infrastructure, settlement, waste disposal sites.

GIS / Database Development

The project has set up a GIS (Geographical Information System) using Arc/Info and Arc View for the storage, processing, and display of spatial data. The main GIS task includes the compilation and production of thematic maps by using various overlay techniques. Since the system is linked to other DMR databases, request oriented GIS applications can also access, analyze, and display additional geo-information.

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Department of
Mineral Resources

Department of Mineral Resources

Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
75/10 Rama VI Road, Ratchatewi, Bangkok
+66 2 621 9500
+66 2 354 2504
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