KSEF: Developing a System to Reconstruct Severely Disturbed Soil

  • Wells, Larry (PI)

Grants and Contracts Details


A prototype mechanical system for reconstructing severely disturbed soil has been designed, fabricated and rested. The system is designed to reconstruct soil subjected to surface mining to an approximate depth of 1m. Preliminary testing has demonstrated that the system can reconstruct soil while completely avoiding compaction by vehicle traffic. Furthermore, amendments such as organic matter can be added to soil during reconstruction to enhance the formation of soil structure and macropores necessary for optimum growth of vegetation. The 1977 Surface Mining Reclamation and Control Act mandates that areas of prime farmland must be restored to pre-mining crop production potential. Satisfying this requirement has been problematic using current reclamation technology owing to excessive compaction of soil by conventional vehicle traffic. Tests have shown that soil can be reconstructed at an approximate rate of 330 cubic m per hour. proposed modifications offer the potential of increasing this rate to approximately 2,000 cubic m per hour. The system mounts on a conventional bulldozer. The proposed research would require renting of a small bulldozer fora period of 3 months. Test plots will be reconstructed during year1 at the University of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. Earthmoving equipment will be used to excavate soil toa depth of 1 m followed by reconstruction using the prototype system. Crops will be planted on the plots and yields will be compared to conventional undisturbed plots.
Effective start/end date6/1/0410/31/07


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.