Soil Loss Comparisons between Reclaimed Strip-Mined and Undisturbed Grasslands in North Dakota
- S. A. Schroeder *
Minimizing erosion from reclaimed strip-mined lands is one goal of successful reclamation. This study was conducted at two mining locations to determine reclamation effects on soil loss/runoff ratios (SLRO) and soil loss amounts from grasslands several years after revegetation as compared to undisturbed grasslands of the same soil series present before mining. Artificial rainfall applications were applied at 56 mm h−1 to replicated 1.8 by 4.9 m plots to simulate dry, wet, and very wet surface conditions. Slope gradient effects on SLRO or soil loss were not significant (P = 0.10) except on one reclaimed site. No definitive trends in the SLRO or soil loss amounts were observed due to slope gradient. Significant differences for SLRO and soil loss amounts were found at one location only between the reclaimed and undisturbed grasslands due to no measurable soil loss on the undisturbed site. Soil losses ranged from 0 to 0.48 Mg ha−1 for the reclaimed and 0 to 0.46 Mg ha−1 for the undisturbed grasslands for the three surface conditions. Estimated soil credibility factors for the Universal Soil Loss Equation showed no significant differences within locations when calculated from the nomograph, but one location showed significant differences when calculated from the actual field data. Agreement between the two estimates was close for two of the three reclaimed grasslands but not so for the other grasslands.
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