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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Physical and Chemical Characteristics of Pre-mine Soils and Post-mine Soil Mixtures in Illinois1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 45 No. 4, p. 806-812
    Received: Sept 29, 1980
    Accepted: Feb 19, 1981

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  1. R. R. Snarski,
  2. J. B. Fehrenbacher and
  3. I. J. Jansen2



The chemical, physical, and mineralogical properties of Sable and Darmstadt soils were studied to determine the value of solum and subsolum material as mediums for plant growth. Sable silty clay loam from western Illinois has nearly ideal physical and chemical properties for plant growth, while the more weathered Darmstadt silt loam from southern Illinois has unfavorable chemical and physical properties that limit plant growth.

The suitability of various soils and subsurface overburden mixtures were determined by measuring and defining the chemical and physical properties that have a potential for enhancing or limiting plant growth. The B2 horizon material from the Darmstadt soil has the least favorable properties. The top 3-m mix (topsoil included) and 3-m mix (topsoil not included) have similar properties and appear to be the most favorable materials for use in constructing a post-mine soil. The range of chemical and physical properties in the Sable mixtures are not as great as in the Darmstadt mixtures. The top 3-m mix, 6-m mix (exclusive of the A horizon), and calcareous loess mix from the Sable soil all have similar chemical and physical properties.

Incorporation of the A horizon into the 3 m below the A horizon of both Sable and Darmstadt soils only slightly enhances the chemical and physical properties of the mixtures.

Comparison of tested and calculated soil values indicate that most chemical and textural properties of a solum and subsolum mixture can be predicted prior to mining. The pH of a mixture can also be predicted by using an equilibration technique.

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