Physical and Hydrological Characteristics of Reclaimed Minesoils in Southeastern Ohio
- M. K. Shukla *a,
- R. Lala,
- J. Underwoodb and
- M. Ebingerc
Reclamation of disturbed soils is done with the primary objective of restoring the land. Therefore, measurement of physical and chemical properties of reclaimed minesoils (RMS) is essential for understanding the process of soil restoration. This study was designed to assess soil quality of two reclaimed sites and two nearby undisturbed sites in Jackson and Vinton counties, Ohio. Three different rates of fertilizers applied annually to the RMS at Jackson and Vinton County sites from 1979–1994 were: no fertilizer (FL1), 112-25-46 kg NPK ha−1 (FL2), and 224-50-92 kg NPK ha−1 (FL3). Bulk and core samples were obtained for only 0- to 10-cm depth for undisturbed (unmined) soil (UMS) and for 0 to 10 and 10 to 20 cm for RMS. A comparison within UMS and RMS showed that water-stable aggregation and mean weight diameter of aggregates (MWDs) were significantly higher for UMS than RMS for both sites (P < 0.05). Apart from soil bulk density (ρb) for Vinton, no significant differences were observed in ρb, electrical conductivity (EC), pH, saturated hydraulic conductivity and water infiltration for the 0- to 10-cm depth among fertility treatments in RMS and UMS for both Jackson and Vinton County sites. Average soil organic C (SOC) 5 yr after reclamation in 1981 was 14.2 Mg ha−1 for Jackson and 15.1 Mg ha−1 for Vinton site for the 0- to 10-cm depth. In 2001, average SOC was 28.7 Mg ha−1 for Jackson and 30.24 Mg ha−1 for Vinton site. A two-fold increase in SOC was obtained at both sites between 1981 and 2001. Soil pH was >6.4 and was favorable for root development and biomass production at both reclaimed sites. No significant differences in several soil properties between UMS and RMS showed that fertility treatments improved the soil quality of RMS.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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