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Microbial Activity in High-Sulfur Reclaimed Coal Mine Overburden Sites

Microbial Activity in High-Sulfur Reclaimed Coal Mine Overburden Sites,10.1080/15320383.2012.636774,Soil & Sediment Contamination,J. Gogoi,N. Pathak,I

Microbial Activity in High-Sulfur Reclaimed Coal Mine Overburden Sites  
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The high-sulfur containing coalmine overburden (OB) dumping ground of the Tirap colliery under the northeastern coalfields in Assam, India, was reclaimed by phytoremediation techniques. Native plant species were planted with line and field methods and by amending with cow dung and unmined soil. In this study, the changes in microbial activity of the reclaimed mine OB wasteland of the Tirap colliery are examined. The enzyme activities of urease, dehydrogenase, and phosphatase were compared over time. Improvements in soil pH, bulk density, and water-holding capacity in the mine OB were found. After four years of reclamation, 1.01% of particles were soil sized (=0.255 mm grain size) with the maximum degradation in the mine OB grain sizes of −20 mm to +12 mm and of +25 mm. A 1,000-fold increase in microbial colony forming units (CFU) in the four years at the remediated site along with an increase in total DNA were evident for the mine OB reclaimed sites. The increase of microbial CFUs in the mine OB was related to a 100- to 2,000-fold increase in enzyme activity for the reclaimed areas. From this investigation, it can be concluded that the improvement of enzyme activities and the increase in microbial populations of reclaimed mine OB will yield information pertaining to the reclamation index of mine OB.
Journal: Soil & Sediment Contamination - SOIL SEDIMENT CONTAM , vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 42-50, 2012
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