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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Properties, Classification, and Interpretations of Minesoils at Two Sites in West Virginia1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 50 No. 1, p. 181-185
    Received: Oct 9, 1984
    Accepted: Aug 7, 1985

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  1. N. C. Thurman and
  2. J. C. Sencindiver2



Minesoils on two surface mines in Monongalia County, West Virginia, were classified using a proposed amendment to Soil Taxonomy. Minesoil properties and interpretations for selected nonagricultural uses were determined for both mine sites. The proposed amendment grouped minesoils into families based on differences in rock fragment lithology, soil reaction (pH), and particle size. The minesoils had a high rock fragment content (33–45%), high bulk density (1.55–1.86 Mg m−3), low porosity (26–38%), low water retention capacity (0.07–0.12 kg kg−1), moderately slow estimated hydraulic conductivity (0.1-1 µm s−1), an irregular distribution of organic C with depth, and strongly acid pH (4.1-5.1). Soil factors affecting the nonagricultural use of the mine sites were slow percolation, stoniness, acidity, and droughtiness. Site factors—slope, irregular topography, size of the site, and the presence of highwalls and steep outslopes—were more limiting to development than soil factors. Classification using the proposed amendment to Soil Taxonomy aided in separating minesoils according to differences in management-related properties and can be useful for general planning purposes.

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