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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Florence, South Carolina » Coastal Plain Soil, Water and Plant Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #219351

Title: Technogenically disturbed lands as a result of mining development

item WEAVER, M
item Novak, Jeffrey
item Busscher, Warren

Submitted to: European Soil Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2007
Publication Date: 6/25/2007
Citation: Kozybaeva, F.E., Weaver, M., Novak, J.M., Busscher, W.J. 2007. Technogenically disturbed lands as a result of mining development [abstract]. 5th International Congress of European Society for Soil, June 25-30, 2007, Palermo, Italy. Available:

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: East-Kazakhstan region of Kazakhstan is rich in ore deposits. The opencast method of mining was adopted since early 60th of the previous century. It was more economically effective and less toilful in comparison with the conventional pit mining. But the designers of the opencast method did not take into consideration the main thing that it will cause the disturbance of soil and plant cover with its full distraction, formation of technogenic landscapes and their negative influence on environment and people of the industrial cities. The quarries of different depths (sometimes up to 250 m), industrial dumps, tailing dumps, waste heaps and hydro dumps were formed under the deposits’ development. The dumps consist of mountain rocks’ heterogenic materials (volcanic and sedimentary origin), related to Middle Devonian period. The waste technogenic landscapes are subjected to the natural overgrowing by plants and the rate of the disturbed lands’ rehabilitation depends on the bioproductivity of the surrounding undisturbed ecosystems. A slow self overgrowing of the waste industrial dumps is in process. The dumps are divided into uneven age dumps by the composition of species and the degree of their overgrowing. There have been determined: old dumps - 40-50 years old, middle age dumps - 20-30 years old; young dumps - 10-20 years old. The vegetation of Zyryanovsk deposit occupies the disintegrated rocks, the places with accumulation of fine earth, crevices among the psephytic stony-pebble rocks, where moisture and seeds of plants (transported from the undisturbed lands) are fixed. The dumps are covered by grassy and wood species here and there. The processes and rates of the vegetation natural rehabilitation on technogenically disturbed landscapes are in close dependence on ecological conditions and the characteristics of eluvium, composing rocks, relief, microclimate, humid conditions, and age of the waste rocks. The initial processes of soil formation are observed under the naturally overgrown and overgrowing sites. The top layer of the rock is touched by the initial processes of soil formation under the conditions of natural overgrowing. Its thickness makes up only 2-2, 5 cm, and represents a soddy layer. The thickness of the top layer in the depressions of the micro relief achieves 3 cm. A pebble layer with a small amount of fine earth of dark and black color is very close to the top layer. The top layer is well cut out to a cubic form and does not break up. 10-12 cm layer of the dump rocks are touched by the processes of soil formation after 40-45 years of opencast mining. The processes of soil formation were observed on the naturally overgrown waste hydro dumps (40 years old). The top 7 cm layer of tertiary clay was subjected to the process of soil formation. The surface of the waste tailing dump was naturally overgrown. Birches and poplars are met on the territory of the tailing dump in the form of separate kolki. The age of wood plants ranges from 2 to 30 years. The grass cover is scarce. An initial soil formation is in process at the old tailing dump under natural overgrowing. The thickness of the top horizon makes up 2-10 cm. The formation of a soddy layer on the surface is observed. Dwarfish horizons are formed.