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Title: Revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils. Progress report for research

Abstract

Research on revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils and related topics was conducted at three mine locations in 1980 and 1981. One of the locations was at an active commercial mine, another at an abandoned mine, and the third at a test pit in a coal field that appears on the verge of development. The research included a number of plantings to test the adaptability of plant materials at various sites, time-of-planting and planting method trials, tests to determine fertilizer needs and plant responses to specific elements, numerous soil samplings to characterize minesoil materials and relate soil conditions to apparent performance of reclamation plantings that have been conducted at one mine over a period of nine years, base studies assessing faunal populations and their representation on replanted mine spoils, and studies of nutrient quality of native vegetation and reclamation plantings. This report will be presented in three sections. The first section will deal with the fertility and minesoil characterization studies, the second with the plant material studies, and the third with the faunal and plant quality studies.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Alaska Univ., Palmer (USA). Agricultural Experiment Station
OSTI Identifier:
5149640
Report Number(s):
DOE/EV/10256-2
ON: DE82020041
DOE Contract Number:
AT06-79EV10256
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
01 COAL, LIGNITE, AND PEAT; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; COAL MINES; LAND RECLAMATION; SPOIL BANKS; REVEGETATION; ALASKA; CULTIVATION TECHNIQUES; FERTILIZERS; FIELD TESTS; GRASS; IRRIGATION; PLANT GROWTH; RYE; SOILS; CEREALS; FEDERAL REGION X; GRAMINEAE; GROWTH; MINES; NORTH AMERICA; PLANTS; TESTING; UNDERGROUND FACILITIES; USA; 010900* - Coal, Lignite, & Peat- Environmental Aspects; 510500 - Environment, Terrestrial- Site Resource & Use Studies- (-1989)

Citation Formats

Mitchell, W.W., Mitchell, G.A., and McKendrick, J.D.. Revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils. Progress report for research. United States: N. p., 1981. Web.
Mitchell, W.W., Mitchell, G.A., & McKendrick, J.D.. Revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils. Progress report for research. United States.
Mitchell, W.W., Mitchell, G.A., and McKendrick, J.D.. 1981. "Revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils. Progress report for research". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5149640,
title = {Revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils. Progress report for research},
author = {Mitchell, W.W. and Mitchell, G.A. and McKendrick, J.D.},
abstractNote = {Research on revegetation of Alaskan coal mine spoils and related topics was conducted at three mine locations in 1980 and 1981. One of the locations was at an active commercial mine, another at an abandoned mine, and the third at a test pit in a coal field that appears on the verge of development. The research included a number of plantings to test the adaptability of plant materials at various sites, time-of-planting and planting method trials, tests to determine fertilizer needs and plant responses to specific elements, numerous soil samplings to characterize minesoil materials and relate soil conditions to apparent performance of reclamation plantings that have been conducted at one mine over a period of nine years, base studies assessing faunal populations and their representation on replanted mine spoils, and studies of nutrient quality of native vegetation and reclamation plantings. This report will be presented in three sections. The first section will deal with the fertility and minesoil characterization studies, the second with the plant material studies, and the third with the faunal and plant quality studies.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1981,
month =
}

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  • Seedings of plant materials at stripmine locations were conducted at the Usibelli mine near Healy, at the abandoned Jonesville mine in the Matanuska Valley, and in the undeveloped Beluga coal field in the foothills of the Alaska Range. Grasses enduring best over a variety of conditions include entries of red fescue, sheep fescue, and tuffed hairgrass. Observations were made on occurrences of several big game mammals and their habitat uses on the Usibelli mine property. 14 refs., 19 tabs. (ACR)
  • Revegetation plantings were established at the Usibelli mine and at the Jonesville mine in 1980, 1981, and 1982 on coal spoil overburden. The plantings are evaluated on the basis of planting time, species survival and coverage, and application of fertilizer. (ACR)
  • Activities initiated after the start of the revegetation project on Alaskan coal mine spoils on September 1, 1979 have consisted mainly of some fall plantings (dormant seedings) and soil and coal spoil samplings and analyses. Because of the late summer start for the project, only a limited amount of field work could be initiated in plant material studies. This consisted of a fall planting at the Usibelli mine site at Healy in interior Alaska. The planting was intended to test the efficacy of seeding in the frost period following the growing season, requiring the seed to remain dormant over wintermore » and to germinate when conditions become favorable in late spring. It also was intended as a comparison of a number of different grasses. Thirty entries were seeded in three replications. Fifteen species of grasses and a clover were included in the trial. The site provided for the trial was on overburden material along a streambed. Among the entries were eight cultivars of introduced grasses, five cultivars of native Alaskan germplasm, one introduced clover cultivar, and sixteen experimental grasses mainly of Alaskan origin.« less
  • The report discusses plant and soil relationships in Alaskan coal mine spoils. Fertility trials in conjunction with plant tissue screening tests demonstrated N and P to be the most limiting nutrients for plant growth on the subject minesoils and that they must be applied in combination for good effects. Potassium constraints were indicated to a lesser degree. Tests with annuals also indicated low residual value of fertilizer nutrients for subsequent years' growth. Substantial increases in growth were obtained with applications of N and P/sub 2/O/sub 5/ up to 68 kg/ha. In one trial responses were obtained to N up tomore » 100 kg/ha with 68 kg P/sub 2/O/sub 5//ha. Soil test data indicated that the fixing capacity of the minesoil for P could be satisfied with two applications of 68 kg/ha P/sub 2/O/sub 5/. Potassium applied at 68 kg/ha K/sub 2/O appeared to be adequate. Growing an annual with a perennial led to considerable removal of nutrients by the annual in the establishment year, and without refertilization, inconsequential growth of the perennial in the second year. No problems were indicated for minor element deficiencies or for other soil factors, such as salinity or severe acidity. Because of the low sulfur content of the coal, S oxidation and resultant acidification is not a problem.« less
  • Minespoil reclamation studies were commenced in 1980 in three coal fields in Alaska. The studies included plant adaptability trials, fertilizer trails, characterization and classification of soils, and wildlife investigations. This report concerns activities undertaken through the 1984 research season regarding first three areas of study. Studies were conducted in the Nenana coal field at the Usibelli coal mine, in the Matanuska coal field at the abandoned Jonesville mine, and in the undeveloped Beluga coal field. Most of the work was conducted at the Usibelli coal mine, the largest commercial mine currently active in Alaska. The Usibelli mine is located atmore » about 64 N latitude in the continental interior climatic region of Alaska south of Fairbanks. It spans the upper boreal forested to low alpine zones, about 460 to 760 meters elevtion. The Jonesville mine, now idle, is located near 62 N in the boreal forested zone of southcentral Alaska, about 325 meters elevation, in the upper Cook Inlet region. The Beluga coal field extends from the shores of the Cook Inlet on a gradual incline to the ramparts of the Alaska Range, transecting the forested and alpine zones about 61 N. The State of Alaska recently adopted surface coal mine regulations with requirements for mine operators to follow for the permitting process. The Alaska Division of mining is in the process of determining how these regulations are to be implemented. The results of the studies reported on herein have figured prominently in discussions between the Division and mine operators on the implementation of the new regulations. 1 fig., 26 tabs.« less