The Human Impacts Database

A collection of useful numbers for quantifying the impacts of the human presence on Earth.

Mass of earth moved globally due to urbanization


This quantity comes from a time series measurement and the most recent value (2015) is reported.


This is equivalent to...

> 140 Gt / yr

HuID: 59640
Relevant Year(s): 2015
Summary: A lower-bound estimate for the mass of earth moved globally for construction purposes.
Method: This estimate makes the approximation that the typical mass of earth moved per comparable mass of cement/concrete used is about 2:1. This value is highly context dependent and represents a conservative estimate for the mass moved. We encourage the reader to examine the source material for a more thorough discussion of the estimate.
Source: Cooper, A. H., Brown, T. J., Price, S. J., Ford, J. R., Waters, C. N. Humans are the most significant global geomorphological driving force of the 21st century. The Anthropocene Review (2018)
Dataset: Mass of sediment produced by category over 1925 — 2015 (Cooper2018_table1_sediment_mass.csv)
global resolution
Original Data License: © The Authors
Added By: gchure