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Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Products, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystem Services Quarterly Report: July-September 2005

Description: The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. We are currently estimating the acreage of lands in Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Pennsylvania mined under SMCRA and reclaimed to non-forested post-mining land uses that are not currently under active management, and therefore can be considered as available for carbon sequestration. To determine actual sequestration under different forest management scenarios, a field study was installed as a 3 x 3 factorial in a random complete block design with three replications at each of three locations, one each in Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia. The treatments included three forest types (white pine, hybrid poplar, mixed hardwood) and three silvicultural regimes (competition control, competition control plus tillage, competition control plus tillage plus fertilization). Each individual treatment plot is 0.5 acres. Each block of nine plots is 4.5 acres, and the complete installation at each site is 13.5 acres. Regression models of chemical and physical soil properties were created in order to estimate the SOC content down the soil profile. Soil organic carbon concentration and volumetric percent of the fines decreased exponentially down the soil profile. The results indicated that one-third of the total SOC content on mined lands was found in the surface 0-13 cm soil layer, and more than two-thirds of it was located in the 0-53 cm soil profile. A relative estimate of soil density may be best in broad-scale mine soil mapping since actual D{sub b} values are often inaccurate and difficult to obtain in rocky mine soils. Carbon sequestration potential is also a function of silvicultural practices used for reforestation success. Weed control plus tillage may be the ...
Date: December 1, 2005
Creator: Burger, James A.; Galbraith, J.; Fox, T.; Amacher, G.; Sullivan, J. & Zipper, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Products, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystem Services Quarterly Report: October-December 2005

Description: The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. During this quarter we worked on methodologies for analyzing carbon in mine soils. A unique property of mine soils is the presence of coal and carboniferous rock particles that are present in mine soils in various sizes, quantities, and qualities. There is no existing method in the literature that may be of use for quantitative estimation of soil organic carbon (SOC) in mine soils that can successfully differentiate between pedogenic and geogenic carbon forms. In this report we present a detailed description of a 16-step method for measuring SOC in mine soils designed for and tested on a total of 30 different mine soil mixtures representing a wide spectrum of mine soils in the hard-rock region of the Appalachian coalfield. The proposed method is a combination of chemical procedure for carbonates removal, a thermal procedure for pedogenic C removal, and elemental C analysis procedure at 900 C. Our methodology provides a means to correct for the carbon loss from the more volatile constituents of coal fragments in the mine soil samples and another correction factor for the protected organic matter that can also remain unoxidized following thermal pretreatment. The correction factors for coal and soil material-specific SOM were based on carbon content loss from coal and SOM determined by a parallel thermal oxidation analysis of pure ground coal fragments retrieved from the same mined site as the soil samples and of coal-free soil rock fragments of sandstone and siltstone origin.
Date: April 30, 2006
Creator: Burger, James A.; Galbraith, J.; Fox, T.; Amacher, G.; Sullivan, J. & Zipper, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restoring Sustainable Forests on Appalachian Mined Lands for Wood Products, Renewable Energy, Carbon Sequestration, and Other Ecosystem Services Quarterly Report: January-March 2006

Description: The overall purpose of this project is to evaluate the biological and economic feasibility of restoring high-quality forests on mined land, and to measure carbon sequestration and wood production benefits that would be achieved from forest restoration procedures. In this quarterly report we present data that show the spatial distribution of carbon in mine soils. Soil carbon data from deep soil pits from grassland minelands located in Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia were analyzed to determine the vertical distribution and variability of soil organic carbon (SOC) down to a 2-m depth. Regression analyses were used to describe and model the distribution by soil depth of C(wt%), BD{sub fines}(g cm{sup -3}), and fines (vol%) in mine soils. The volume of excavated mine soil samples was transformed in terms of costs of digging and sampling, including sample collection and preparation, and C(wt%) analysis, in order to determine the maximum cost-effective depth (MCD) for carbon inventorying on the mined sites analyzed. Based on the horizontal variation of SOC(g m{sup -2}), we determined the sampling intensity required to achieve a desired accuracy of the amount of sequestered SOC(g m{sup -2}) at certain probability levels. The MCD and sampling intensity measurements were used to determine the minimum detectable difference (MDD) of SOC(g m{sup -2}) between two consecutive carbon inventories. We also proposed a method to determine the minimum number of years before a future C inventory event is carried out so that the measured SOC(g m{sup -2}) differences were greater than MDD. We used geostatistical analyses procedures to determine spatial dependence predictability of surface SOC(g m{sup -2}) data on the minelands analyzed. Kriging techniques were used to create surface SOC(g m{sup -2}) maps for the sites in Ohio and West Virginia. The average C sequestration rate in the surface soil layer for the Ohio (age ...
Date: May 5, 2006
Creator: Burger, James A.; Galbraith, J.; Fox, T.; Amacher, G.; Sullivan, J. & Zipper, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department