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Title: Area strip mine reclamation using dredged material: A field demonstration
Authors: Dredged Material Research Program (U.S.)
Perrier, Eugene R.
Llopis, José L.
Spaine, Patricia A.
Keywords: Dredged material
Dredged material disposal
Erosion control by vegetation
Mine wastes
Strip mining
Vegetative cover
Publisher: U. S. Army Engineer, Waterways Experiment Station. Environmental Laboratory
Engineer Research and Development Center (U.S.)
Series/Report no.: Technical report (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station) ; EL-80-4.
Description: Technical report
Abstract: This report describes the application of dredged material for area strip mine reclamation as a possible alternative to the present practices of dredged material disposal. The purpose of the study was to demonstrate the feasibility of using a cover of dewatered dredged material to reclaim surface mine spoils. The goal of reclamation effort was the prevention and abatement of erosion and acid mine drainage by the use of dredged material as a media for vegetative cover. The demonstration site consisted of four 80- by 180-ft diked test plots treated as follows: (A.) control plot of untreated mine spoil, (B.) mine spoil with a 3-ft covering of dredged material, (C.) 5 tons/acre of crushed limestone incorporated into the top 6 in. of mine spoil and covered by 3 ft of dredged material, and (D.) 7.5 tons/acre of crushed limestone incorporated into the top 6 in. of mine spoil and covered by 3 ft of dredged material. A seed mixture of five grasses and a legume was sown for a vegetative cover as well as plant growth analyses. Samples of the dredged material and the mine spoil were physically and chemically analyzed prior to the field demonstration. The dredged material used in this study was not high in contaminants. The chemical analysis of surface runoff and leachate samples of the dredged material showed no contamination as these samples were well within recommended limits for agricultural irrigation water standards. There was no increase or decrease in the low concentration of contaminants in the groundwater sampled throughout the duration of the reclamation demonstration. The seed mixture produced a complete vegetative ground cover early in the spring. By midseason, smartweed, which is an invading specie particularly attractive to wildlife, emerged as the primary specie. Chemical analysis of heavy metal uptake by tall fescue showed that the dredged material provided a suitable noncontaminating growth media. In addition, vegetation did not grow on the mine spoil control plot, but on the dredged material plots vegetation was produced that was both environmentally beneficial and aesthetically pleasing.
Rights: Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Appears in Collections:Technical Report

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