Effect of Vegetation Upon Aggregation in Strip Mine Spoils1
- H. A. Wilson2
Material from vegetated and barren (nonvegetated) portions of strip mine spoils and adjacent unstripped soils were wet-sieved through a series of standard mesh sieves. Five coal-land strip mine spoils and two century-old ironore spoils were sampled. The fractions remaining on each sieve were dried, weighed, and examined, using a stereoscopic microscope at a magnification of 15X. Differences in weight between the sieved fractions and the fractions remaining on the sieves from chemically dispersed samples were also determined. The actual aggregates, stones, and bits of coal were counted and the percentage aggregation calculated.
The results show that the total weight of the wetsieved fractions from the vegetated (reforested iron-ore spoils) and nonvegetated spoils is statistically less than that from the undisturbed soils. The percentage of aggregation in the coal-land spoils is of the following order: nonvegetated < vegetated < undisturbed. The reforested iron-ore spoils are not as well aggregated as the adjacent soils.
The type of vegetation on spoils, as on soils, was also found to be an important factor in aggregation. In general, on these coal-land spoils aggregation increases in the following order; based on the type of vegetation: nonvegetated < pine < locust < forage grasses and legumes.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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