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Abstract

The quarrying industry is changing the local landscape, forming deep open pits and spoil heaps in close proximity to them, especially lignite mines. The impact can include toxic soil material (low pH, heavy metals, oxidations etc.) which is the basis for further reclamation and afforestation. Forests that stand on spoil heaps have very different growth conditions because of the relief (slope, aspect, wind and rainfall shadows, supply of solar energy, etc.) and type of soil that is deposited. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) technology deliver point clouds (XYZ) and derivatives as raster height models (DTM, DSM, nDSM=CHM) which allow the reception of selected 2D and 3D forest parameters (e.g. height, base of the crown, cover, density, volume, biomass, etc). The automation of ALS point cloud processing and integrating the results into GIS helps forest managers to take appropriate decisions on silvicultural treatments in areas with failed plantations (toxic soil, droughts on south-facing slopes; landslides, etc.) or as regular maintenance. The ISOK country-wide project ongoing in Poland will soon deliver ALS point cloud data which can be successfully used for the monitoring and management of many thousands of hectares of destroyed post-industrial areas which according to the law, have to be afforested and transferred back to the State Forest.
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