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A l’aide d’un système d’information géographique, les données altimétriques mentionnées sur les cartes historiques de 1892 ont été numérisées.Interpolée, cette surface de référence a été comparée au modèle numérique de terrain actuel afin de calculer les différences d’altitude.The Ruhr District covers at least three significant landscapes with different surface characteristics (Liedtke, 1993; Boldt and Gelhar, 2008): to the west, there is the Lower Rhine Plain with the lowest point within the Ruhr District (13 m a.s.l.).The Westphalian Embayment, consisting of Upper Cretaceous strata in the underground, partly covered by ground moraine, loess and fluvial deposits, is located in the central and the northern part (Hahne, 1965).Denis Mercier (university of Nantes, France) for the editing of the text in French.The valuable comments of the reviewers are gratefully acknowledged.The study presented here has focused on the quantification of the magnitude and the distribution of mining subsidence in the Ruhr District and has also allowed for the identification of subsidence areas, which are less striking due to different surface features.Since area-wide data on mining subsidence is not available or was not investigated to date, our project has led to the first large-scale and systematic collation of data on mining subsidence in the entire Ruhr District.
Due to the process of de-industrialisation, the cities in the Ruhr District succeeded in compensating for job losses in the secondary sector by attracting new jobs in the tertiary sector (Bronny et al., 2004).Negative effects on nature functions and biotopes caused by the heaping operation were compensated for by adequate measures (Hofmann and Winter, 1991).Furthermore, landscape-related leisure and recreation aspects were considered by planning pathways, viewpoints or attractive artworks.As a contribution to the quantitative approach of anthropogeomorphology, a comparison of mining induced surface lowering rates with denudation rates of rivers will finally be discussed.The Ruhr District is a conurbation with an overall population of 5.3 million living in eleven municipal authorities and four districts (Bronny et al., 2004; Regionalverband Ruhr, 2006; fig. It extends from the river Rhine in the west, to the river Ruhr in the south and borders rural areas in the north and east.