Hydrologic characteristics of appalachian loose-dumped spoil in the cumberland plateau of eastern Kentucky

Timothy J. Taylor, Carmen T. Agouridis, Richard C. Warner, Christopher D. Barton, Patrick N. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Heavily compacted lands, typical of traditional surface mine reclamation techniques, have been shown to hinder tree growth, increase levels of flooding, and produce suboptimal water quality. Utilizing loose-dumped spoil, in accordance with the Forestry Reclamation Approach (FRA), has demonstrated success with regards to promoting tree growth and survival; however, additional information is needed to assess the potential of FRA to ameliorate other environmental concerns related to water quantity. To better understand the hydrologic characteristics of loose-dumped spoil, key hydrograph parameters (discharge volume, peak discharge, discharge duration, lag time, and response time) were monitored for three common spoil types: (1) predominately brown weathered sandstone, (2) predominately gray weathered sandstone, and (3) a mixture of both sandstones and shale. Although spoil types were found to differ hydrologically, these differences were relatively minor. Measured discharge volumes were low (averaging 12% of rainfall for all events and treatments), peak discharge rates were small (between 2·5 × 10-5and 3 × 10-3 m3/s), and the duration of discharge was long (6 days on average). From a hydrologic perspective, the results of this study indicate that mine spoils need not be segregated for reclamation as long as the spoil is placed in accordance with the loose-dumped techniques as outlined in the FRA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3372-3381
Number of pages10
JournalHydrological Processes
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 2009


  • Coal
  • Forestry reclamation approach
  • Hydrograph
  • Modelling
  • Surface mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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