See more from this Session: Soils of Reclaimed Landscapes: Recycling, Renewing, and Reusing Depleted Environments: II
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Straddling the border between Kentucky and Tennessee, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area was established by Congress in 1974 to preserve the rich cultural history in the area and to provide a space for recreational activities. For decades prior to its creation, this vast area on the Cumberland Plateau had been exploited for various natural resources, including large quantities of coal. The objective of this study was to map existing minesoils and refuse piles created by coal extraction within the park, and to assess the acidity and basicity of each site. A total of 28 spoil sites were identified, representing locations created before the passage of the Surface Mining, Control, and Reclamation Act of 1977, as well as those created after its passage. Multiple samples were drawn from each site, for a total of 98 overall samples. Acid-base accounting, a commonly used analytical technique which evaluates the acid and base status of overburden material in surface mining, was determined for each site. In order to support the acid-producing potentials generated, total elemental analysis was performed. The pre-SMCRA sites are expected to have higher acid-producing potentials than the post-SMCRA sites because of more modern reclamation techniques required, although exceptions are expected in both groups. In conclusion, data will be presented assessing the potential acidity of the sites sampled in order to provide information to the park service concerning future land use and environmental quality.