The impact of surface mine reclamation on headwater streams in Southwest Virginia

William J Matter, John J. Ney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recovery of headwater streams following the cessation of mining and the application of terrestrial (vegetative) reclamation techniques was assessed by comparison of water quality and aquatic biota in two such systems (reclaimed four to seven years) with that of an unimpacted stream and of streams draining mine areas which were abandoned without reclamation. Alkalinity, hardness, sulfate, and conductivity were elevated in the reclaimed mine streams as were fine-particle suspended solids and sediment. Overall water quality was comparable to streams draining unreclaimed lands. Benthic invertebrate and fish populations were significantly lower in abundance in the reclaimed mine streams than in the reference stream and showed less taxonomic richness and stability; they were similar in these respects to the biota of the unreclaimed mine streams. Continued sedimentation from mined areas and haul roads affected stream habitat and appeared to be the major factor limiting biotic recovery. These findings emphasize that terrestrial reclamation does not assure lotic restoration. Water quality criteria merit consideration in the refinement of reclamation procedures for mined lands.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-71
Number of pages9
JournalHydrobiologia
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1981

Fingerprint

Reclamation
headwater
Water quality
Recovery
Alkalinity
Sedimentation
Fish
Restoration
water quality
Sediments
biota
Hardness
mined soils
water quality criteria
organisms
alkalinity
limiting factor
hardness
roads
sulfates

Keywords

  • benthic invertebrates
  • fish
  • streams
  • strip mining
  • water quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Pollution
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

The impact of surface mine reclamation on headwater streams in Southwest Virginia. / Matter, William J; Ney, John J.

In: Hydrobiologia, Vol. 78, No. 1, 02.1981, p. 63-71.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{83217d247a8b4d21a074403cf9a2c72b,
title = "The impact of surface mine reclamation on headwater streams in Southwest Virginia",
abstract = "Recovery of headwater streams following the cessation of mining and the application of terrestrial (vegetative) reclamation techniques was assessed by comparison of water quality and aquatic biota in two such systems (reclaimed four to seven years) with that of an unimpacted stream and of streams draining mine areas which were abandoned without reclamation. Alkalinity, hardness, sulfate, and conductivity were elevated in the reclaimed mine streams as were fine-particle suspended solids and sediment. Overall water quality was comparable to streams draining unreclaimed lands. Benthic invertebrate and fish populations were significantly lower in abundance in the reclaimed mine streams than in the reference stream and showed less taxonomic richness and stability; they were similar in these respects to the biota of the unreclaimed mine streams. Continued sedimentation from mined areas and haul roads affected stream habitat and appeared to be the major factor limiting biotic recovery. These findings emphasize that terrestrial reclamation does not assure lotic restoration. Water quality criteria merit consideration in the refinement of reclamation procedures for mined lands.",
keywords = "benthic invertebrates, fish, streams, strip mining, water quality",
author = "Matter, {William J} and Ney, {John J.}",
year = "1981",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1007/BF00011942",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "78",
pages = "63--71",
journal = "Hydrobiologia",
issn = "0018-8158",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The impact of surface mine reclamation on headwater streams in Southwest Virginia

AU - Matter, William J

AU - Ney, John J.

PY - 1981/2

Y1 - 1981/2

N2 - Recovery of headwater streams following the cessation of mining and the application of terrestrial (vegetative) reclamation techniques was assessed by comparison of water quality and aquatic biota in two such systems (reclaimed four to seven years) with that of an unimpacted stream and of streams draining mine areas which were abandoned without reclamation. Alkalinity, hardness, sulfate, and conductivity were elevated in the reclaimed mine streams as were fine-particle suspended solids and sediment. Overall water quality was comparable to streams draining unreclaimed lands. Benthic invertebrate and fish populations were significantly lower in abundance in the reclaimed mine streams than in the reference stream and showed less taxonomic richness and stability; they were similar in these respects to the biota of the unreclaimed mine streams. Continued sedimentation from mined areas and haul roads affected stream habitat and appeared to be the major factor limiting biotic recovery. These findings emphasize that terrestrial reclamation does not assure lotic restoration. Water quality criteria merit consideration in the refinement of reclamation procedures for mined lands.

AB - Recovery of headwater streams following the cessation of mining and the application of terrestrial (vegetative) reclamation techniques was assessed by comparison of water quality and aquatic biota in two such systems (reclaimed four to seven years) with that of an unimpacted stream and of streams draining mine areas which were abandoned without reclamation. Alkalinity, hardness, sulfate, and conductivity were elevated in the reclaimed mine streams as were fine-particle suspended solids and sediment. Overall water quality was comparable to streams draining unreclaimed lands. Benthic invertebrate and fish populations were significantly lower in abundance in the reclaimed mine streams than in the reference stream and showed less taxonomic richness and stability; they were similar in these respects to the biota of the unreclaimed mine streams. Continued sedimentation from mined areas and haul roads affected stream habitat and appeared to be the major factor limiting biotic recovery. These findings emphasize that terrestrial reclamation does not assure lotic restoration. Water quality criteria merit consideration in the refinement of reclamation procedures for mined lands.

KW - benthic invertebrates

KW - fish

KW - streams

KW - strip mining

KW - water quality

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0007543152&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0007543152&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/BF00011942

DO - 10.1007/BF00011942

M3 - Article

VL - 78

SP - 63

EP - 71

JO - Hydrobiologia

JF - Hydrobiologia

SN - 0018-8158

IS - 1

ER -