QLA 2022 1 - Bringing the Ballast
Ruderal's 2022 Quarry Life Award Entry
“The Quarry Life Award is a scientific and education competition… Its aim is to raise the awareness of the ecological value of extraction sites and sharing new best practices.”
This year, Ruderal will develop a proposal to increase biodiversity at the recently acquired Lezhbadini Quarry. Heidelberg Cement operates this quarry along a reach of the Khrami river near Khanji-Gazlo, near the Georgia-Azerbaijani border.
The project kicked off at the end of February with a visit to the Lezhbadini Quarry to get familiar with the context and the scale of the operation. Zviad, the quarry manager, introduced us to the different elements of the quarry landscape: the river, floodplain, riparian forest zones, and ephemeral wetlands. He explained the mechanics of the gravel extraction process, which includes using excavators to create gravel bars to prevent flooding of extraction areas. Using our drone, we gathered aerial images of the finer details of excavation and hydrological patterns.
Next, our team will create diagrams of the quarry operations, and draw a series of cross-sections of the river to understand the spatial and temporal actions on the landscape. We will return in late March to record the different types of emergent vegetation present in the floodplain and riparian forest.