CHEMICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF SELECTED OVERBURDENS OF SINGRAULI COALFIELDSMahendra Kumar Verma, Priyal Pandey, Raj Mukhopadhyay, Nirmal De, Resham Dwivedi, N.C. Karmakar5 and V.K. Bajaj
Mining particularly opencast mining contribute over 81% of total coal production in India. Opencast mining releases huge amount of mining wastes to the upper part of the land surface as overburden dump materials. Overburden materials are nutrient-poor, loosely adhered particles of shale, stones, boulders and cobbles and are devoid of true soil character. A brief idea of chemical properties of overburden is necessary to carry out successful eco restoration. In the present study overburden dumps of different ages under Singrauli coalfields were collected and characterized for various chemical properties. Chemical characteristics such as pH, Electrical conductivity, Organic carbon, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and micronutrient were analyzed. The overburden samples collected from the coal mining areas had pH in acidic range (6.1-6.7) while native forest has neutral pH (7.4). Organic carbon was found minimum in fresh overburden (0.11%) and increased with age of overburden (0.34 %) in 15 year old overburden. Available nitrogen and available phosphorus were deficient in overburden samples as compared to native forest soil. Iron, Zinc and Copper were found to be in permissible limit in overburden samples and native forest soil. Manganese was found to be deficient in overburden samples and native forest soil. Nickel was found within permissible limits in different aged overburden as well as in soil. Present study revealed that overburden samples were poor in nutrients but proper management with plantation of suitable plant species could be helpful in improving availability of essential nutrients in overburdens.
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