Skip to main content

View from Space of Panian Mine on Semirara Island, Philippines

A year ago, Semirara island was mentioned many times by pro-mining advocates to rationalize coal mining as well as the economic benefits it would bring to our island. At that time, there was no way to visualize the environmental impact and damage it could have done. Now, Panian Mine on Semirara Island, Philippines is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 23 crew member of the International Space Station.

This detailed astronaut photograph provides a rare cloud-free view of the northern end of Semirara Island, which is located approximately 280 kilometers to the south of Manila in the Philippines. The northern part of the island is dominated by the Panian Coalfield, the largest of three coalfields on the island. Most of the coal is used for energy generation in the Philippines, with some exported to India and China.

The Panian coalfield is being mined using open-pit methods. The rock and soil above the coal layers (or seams) is known as overburden. Overburden is removed from the pit and heaped into piles, several of which ring the northern half of the pit. Several of the dark coal seams are visible along the sunlit southern wall of the pit (these may be more visible in the larger image version). Plumes of sediment from the overburden piles enter the Sulu Sea along the northern and eastern coastline of the island.

The Semirara coalfields formed from 12–23 million years ago along what was then a coastal plain—similar to the current geologic environment of the southeastern Gulf Coast of the United States. Organic materials were deposited in sequences of sandstone and mudstone, which were then covered by limestones as the environment became progressively more marine. Over geologic time, increased pressure from the overlying rocks changed the layers of organic material into coal.

Astronaut photograph ISS023-E-15142 was acquired on March 31, 2010, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera fitted with an 800 mm lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 23 crew. The image in this article has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast. Lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, NASA-JSC.

Source: Image of the Day, NASA Earth Observatory
Photo Credits: International Space Station Imagery

Popular posts from this blog

Pantomina Lyrics And Music

Pantomina is Spanish for pantomime, movements imitating the courtship movements of the rooster and the hen. Ang mga babaye
Kung mayo pa nin agom
Maugay nin aga maugay nin hapon
Alagad kung sinda igua na nin agom
Maugay Octobre, Disyembreng sunudon. Ica palan, Nenang ang pinagsasabi
Magayon na burac sa lugar na ini
Magayon ang tindog malinig ang pisngi
Arin pa daw ang puso ang dai mawili. Can ica sadit pa sadit pa man aco
Si satuyang cawat magkudot-kudotan
Kinudot mo aco kinudot ta ca man
Sabi mo sa saco luhayluhaya man. Ang mga lalake
Hudyan sisaboot
Ang pinagsasabing ngarang pagcamoot
Kundi ang babayeng iyo minahilod
Akong minahiling can mga pangguyod.

Churches in Catanduanes

Catanduanes is composed of 11 municipalities, but there are 18 parishes distributed island wide. There are 3 parishes in the capital town Virac, 3 in Viga, 3 in Bato and 2 in San Andres. Although radical architectural changes have been made in many of the centuries old churches. From baroque to contemporary architecture and basic structural changes from coral stones to cement. Still many of the old practices and traditions are revered and observed up to this day. Happy Easter! Vicariate of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Vicar Forane: Rt. Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Virac Cathedral (F-1755), Virac 4800 Catanduanes Population: 42,045; Catholics: 41,204 Titular: Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 Parish Priest: Rev. Msgr. Jose B. Molina, PA, VG Parochial Vicars: Fr. Allan Martin Basilio, Fr. Joseph Saratan, Fr. Pascual Macuja (Retired, In Residence), Fr. Sid Jose Sanchez, Fr. Paul I. Isorena Cabugao (F-1911), Bato 4801 Catanduanes Population: 9,288; Catholics…

Philippine Mining Act of 1995

With the recent issue of magnetite ore mining overwhemingly opposed by residents in the town of Bagamanoc and recently moved the mining site off the coast of Panganiban (Payo), I am compelled to post this Mining Act to serve as reference. "Republic Act No. 7942 or the Philippine Mining Act of 1995 (“Act”) is the governing law that regulates mineral resources development in the country. One of the primary objectives of this act is to revitalize the ailing Philippine mining industry by providing fiscal reforms and incentives and maintaining a viable inventory of mineral reserves to sustain the industry through the infusion of fresh capital through direct investments to finance mineral exploration and/or development activities. The original implementing rules and regulations of the Act was prepared in 1995, and was revised in 1996 under DENR Administrative Order 96 – 40, the revised implementing rules and regulations (RIRR). Collectively, the Act and its RIRR take into considerat…

Wildlife in Catanduanes

Moving around the island, particularly in the remote barangays located in the hinterlands, one can find unusual pets and not often seen animals, some were hunted down to near extinction. Philippine long-tailed macaque or "ukay" are teeming in some parts of the island, often a menace to small farmers' crops. Wild chicken or "abukid" are at times sold as pets by ambulant vendors. The look is no different from a domesticated chicken but I think its smaller and lighter. Long ago wild deers or "usa" can be found in the lowlands and some even tried domesticating this wild animal. But in later years their population had drastically diminished. Same with the wild pig or "opon", a delicacy for many because of less fat and tastier compared to hybrids. The look is very much different from domesticated pigs, mean looking, small and hairy. A dreaded species of Philippine cobra or "haras" as the locals calls it, is found also in the island…

Japanese Retirement Village in the Philippines

The Philippines is being eyed as a prime medical, health care and retirement destination for Japanese. According to studies, one out of four people in Japan will be aged 65 by 2020, from one out of six in 2000. Now is the best time to set up the retirement village for Japanese as baby boomers will start retiring in 2007. Several notable Japanese companies have already initiated building medical and retirement havens in the Philippines. These include Sanyo Emeritus Co. Ltd., a joint venture between Sanyo Electric and Emeritus Corp. of Seattle, which provides "assisted living" services in the US and Canada; as well as Tokushukai Medical Corp., Japan's largest hospital chain, which is putting up a $100 million, 1000-bed hospital in the Philippines, targeting elderly Japanese citizens. The Philippines is highly regarded because of its mild climate enjoyed by Japanese, its close proximity to Japan, the high quality of the Philippines' healthcare workforce, and the sign…