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Water quality of runoff from revegetated mine spoil


Permanent vegetation plots were established on mixed overburden and topsoiled overburden on a lignite test pit in eastern Texas in 1982. Vegetative treatments included two grass-legume treatments [switchgrass (panicum virgattun) — sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) — subterrancan elover (Trifolitun subterranean) and litte bluestem (Schizachyriun scoparium) — sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) — Illinois hundleflower (Dessmanthus illinoiensis)] and three monocultures [Coastal bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon), bahia grass (paspalum notatum) and yellow Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)]. Water was applied to the 0.5m2 plots using a sprinklertype rainfall simulator and quality of runoff was determined for each plot. Parameters analyzed included: settleable solids, total filterable solids, sediment production, infiltration rate, nitrites, nitrates, total iron and total manganese. Topsoiling significantly increased inliltration and significantly decreased filterable sediments, sediment production and settleable solids. The hydrologie qualities of the switchgrass-sideoats grama-subterranean elover mixture coincided closely with those of the Coastal bermudagrass monoculture.

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Authors are presently graduate research assistant and assistant professor. Range Science Department. Texas A&M University. College Station, Texas 77843. Acknowledgement is given to Northwestern Resources Co. for providing the funding for this project.

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Trouart, J.E., Knight, R.W. Water quality of runoff from revegetated mine spoil. Environ Geochem Health 7, 3–7 (1985).

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  • Lignite
  • Switchgrass
  • Subterranean Clover
  • Mine Spoil
  • Litter Cover