The Custer Mine and Hazen-West sites are two abandoned coal mines at which restoration efforts have been undertaken by the Abandoned Mines Land Division in North Dakota. Both sites have undergone changes in the sloping of highwalls as well as efforts to establish vegetation and wetlands for wildlife. The success of replicating the function of natural wetlands with those constructed on the mine sites was determined by analyzing soil and water samples from both sites as well as from natural wetlands. The results from the mine sites were compared to natural wetlands at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, as well as other studies including the Cottonwood Lake area of North Dakota. Soil analysis showed the soils from the mined sites had significant differences in pH, salinity, organic matter, magnesium and sodium concentrations with the natural wetlands at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge. The water analysis results showed significant differences between the mined sites and Audubon National Wildlife Refuge in pH, turbidity, total dissolved solids, hardness, total alkalinity, and concentrations of chloride, phosphorus, nitrate, potassium, magnesium and sodium. Other parameters studied were not significantly different between the natural and constructed wetlands. The differences found between the natural and constructed wetlands do not appear to be limiting in function of the soil and water chemistry properties, suggesting that efforts to establish habitat and function in abandoned coal mines have been successful.
|School:||Minot State University|
|School Location:||United States -- North Dakota|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
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