Selected properties of the incipient soils developing on coal mining wastes, Bowen Basin, Australia

Alister V. Spain, I. Hollingsworth

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    The limited amounts of available good quality, fully developed soil frequently constrain the success of
    rehabilitation works. Consequently, the minesoils that develop spontaneously on spoil materials and their
    transported erosion products in post‐mining landscapes must be used as alternative growing media in
    achieving rehabilitation objectives. The minesoils developing on spoils derived from open cut coal mining in
    four Bowen Basin mines are defined and selected properties contrasted with those of local, fully‐developed
    soils. These diverse materials reflect the variety of parent materials present and are developing in immature,
    geomorphologically active landscapes where they are undergoing substantial physical weathering and, in
    some places, chemical weathering associated with pyrite oxidation. Important physical limitations as growing
    media include elevated dispersivity, a high tendency towards crust formation and a very limited development
    of biologically based structure. Minesoil pH, salinity and sodicity range widely and are used to define twelve
    classes of materials that reflect their potential limitations as growing media and in substrate stability.
    Extremes are seen as common and major constraintsto soil and ecosystem development. Profile development
    is largely limited to the surface 50 millimetres. For minesoils to develop eventually into soils in approximate
    equilibrium with contemporary environments and to provide the ecosystem goods and services necessary to
    support natural patterns of biodiversity, productivity and water quality, their long‐term development
    pathways need to be better understood.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMine Closure 2016
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 11th International Conference on Mine Closure
    EditorsMark Tibbett, Andy Fourie
    PublisherAustralian Centre for Geomechanics
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event11th International Conference on Mine Closure - Perth, Australia
    Duration: 15 Mar 201617 Mar 2016


    Conference11th International Conference on Mine Closure


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