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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract -

Mined Land Reclamation Using Polluted Urban Navigable Waterway Sediments: III. Experience at a Demonstration Site1


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 13 No. 3, p. 423-431
    Received: May 16, 1983

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  1. A. van Luik and
  2. W. Harrison2



Eroding ridges of acidic coal-mine spoil near Ottawa, IL were leveled to form a gently sloped raised plateau. Four test plots were constructed: a control plot and three treatment plots that received a 0.9-m thick cover of dredged material. Two of the treatment plots received lime applications, and all plots were seeded with a mixture of grasses. Porous ceramic cup soil water samplers were installed, in duplicate, at two levels in the control plot and at three levels in each treatment plot. The three levels in the treatment plots coincided with dredged material, the dredged material/mine spoil interface, and the underlying mine spoil. Nineteen water-quality parameters were monitored during the 4 yr of the study. Results showed that the near-surface soil-water in the control plot deteriorated with respect to pH during the first 2 yr and stabilized thereafter. The deeper control-plot samples showed no significant change in soil-water quality. The dredged material soil-water pH decreased slightly after placement, with the onset of lush vegetative growth. The solutions collected from the dredged material/mine spoil interface were neutralized during the first 2 yr of the study, and dissolved trace metal levels dropped significnatly during the first and succeeding years. The applied dredged material has significantly ameliorated the acidity and trace-metal levels of water in the underlying mine spoil, and appears to be an effective and safe reclamation medium, under proper use and management.

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