What is reclamation? Reclamation of disturbed land
Some lands in our planet are subject to increased damage. For example, sites for mining, building cities, organizing garbage dumps or conducting military tests (such as nuclear weapons). To restore land cover, reclamation is applied. What this process represents and how it is carried out is described in the article below.
The reclamation process and the purpose of
What is reclamation? Such a concept is called the complex of works on the economic and ecological restoration of lands and reservoirs.
In connection with mining, construction or repair work, damage and destruction of soil and land covers largely occur, therefore, their restoration requires recultivation of these sites.This process involves a set of activities aimed at the reproduction of damaged areas. These lands also include areas contaminated by anything. For example, landfill waste is being reclaimed.
The purpose of the event is to improve the state of the soil, the environment, and restore the work of destroyed lands and reservoirs. When carrying out recultivation, it is necessary to take into account the degree of pollution and damage, soil and climatic conditions, landscape and geochemical characteristics of damaged lands.
There are 5 areas of reclamation of disturbed lands in accordance with their further use:
- Agricultural - used for perennial plantations, pastures, meadows, arable land, etc.
- Water management - for reservoirs of various purposes, such as ponds for breeding game or fish, reservoirs.
- Forestry - used for forest plantation of a special or operational purpose (sanitary protection, soil protection, water protection, etc.).
- Architectural planning - sowing of field grasses (lawns), afforestation, water supply and irrigation of land around residential buildings.
- Recreational - recreation areas, beaches, pools, parks, etc.
What is reclamation and what stages does it include?
The reclamation process usually involves two main stages - technical and biological, however, one can single out the third - preparatory. Consider in detail all the steps.
- The preparatory stage - the preparation of working equipment, standards and documentation is carried out, a preliminary budget is determined, and work is being carried out to restore the soil.
- Technical stage - preparation of the landscape (leveling of industrial embankments, backfilling of pits, ditches, trenches, depressions, ditches), creation of hydraulic structures, waste disposal, a plan for the engineering and technical component of the project.
- The biological stage is the final part of the implementation of the reclamation of disturbed lands. Includes forest planting, soil cleaning, gardening, a set of organizational and economic measures to improve the agro-climatic and soil conditions in order to increase the efficiency of water and land resources. Special work is being done to improve the condition and properties of the soil.
What lands are subject to reclamation?
First of all, landfills, land on which repair and construction works were carried out, as well as underground pipelines were in need of reclamation. In addition, reclamation is necessary for the adjacent land, which has partially or completely lost productivity due to the negative impact of waste.
Environmentalists argue that the most difficult to recover are the lands that were used for the storage and burial of toxic waste. For such areas, special reclamation is needed, which can last for years, the timing depends on the type of waste and the severity of the impact on the land.
The reclamation of quarries is carried out constantly, because usually the process of mining of minerals takes a long time. And the restoration of water dumps should be started only at 6-8 years after completion of their alluvium, which is exactly what is needed for drying and stabilizing the territory. Thus, for each individual case, an individual reclamation project is prepared.
The development of a reclamation project is a difficult and multi-stage process in which professionals from various fields take part, from environmentalists to engineering.Based on the objectives of the project, the documentation is prepared, the working stages and budget are compiled. The project includes technical and biological reclamation.
Technical reclamation, depending on the budget, includes the following work:
- chemical - are in the use of organic and chemical fertilizers;
- heat engineering - consist of difficult stages of reclamation;
- water - include drainage or irrigation as needed, depending on the condition of the land;
- projective-structural - they imply the organization of fresh landscape reliefs, the layout of the surface.
This stage of the reclamation project is performed by mining enterprises.
The stage of biological recovery is performed after the end of the technical part. It involves the restoration of fertile soil properties.
The objectives of biological remediation:
- restoration of land fertility;
- restoration of natural soil formation;
- increased self-cleaning and regeneration;
- the revival of flora and fauna;
- planting plants in the damaged area that are well adapted and have high rates of regeneration;
- intended use.
None of the stages should be skipped or violated, as each has its own importance. At the end of the process, planting of fresh forest massifs is carried out - it is called forest remediation.
Plants used for remediation
Plants for soil recultivation must be selected in accordance with the following requirements:
- they must be adapted to local soil and climatic conditions;
- these should be “useful plants”, that is, those used in forestry and agriculture.
An excellent option would be to sow the land with medicinal plants. An important condition is the ability of herbs in a short time to create a closed and durable herbage, resistant to washes. Of the plants that are used to improve the quality of soil and land, can be identified:
- Red clover is a good source of accumulation of atmospheric nitrogen by beneficial bacteria. Special soil for this plant is not required.
- Meadow timothy grass is light-requiring, it has high winter hardiness and is resistant to flooding.
- Meadow fescue is a grass with a strong root system.It is resistant to mowing and grows quickly, is durable and frost-resistant. Not picky to moisture.
- Ramson is a durable herb, one of the earliest sources of vitamins in the forest. The leaves are eaten as an ingredient in hot dishes, pies and bread, as well as raw.
Perennial grasses and tree-shrub vegetation are used for the remediation of quarries. Thanks to plants, the process of soil erosion is weakened, and the stability of slopes increases.
Restoration of farmland
The reclamation of land used for agricultural purposes is used for the purpose of planting agricultural crops on destroyed lands, and also includes the enrichment of productive land with a certain environment for the development and growth of plantations.
The technical part of agricultural land reclamation implies:
- forming an area a couple of meters above drainage or groundwater;
- backfilling of the upper layer with soil suitable for biological recultivation of damaged lands with further implementation of a set of measures that improve the properties of the reclaimed layer, which is achieved through certain actions and fertilizer application;
- enrichment with nutrients of bulk rocks, improvement of their structure, activation of biological processes by introducing established doses of fertilizer in combination with the recommended treatment for their subsequent use in agriculture;
- the formation of hay pastures on a renewable surface.
What is reclamation and why is it needed? We can say that the restoration of land cover is necessary for further targeted use of the site. Reclamation is especially important for cleaning up the environment. For example, after the closure of the MSW landfill, hazardous chemical compounds continue to accumulate in this place, which harm nature. In this case, the process of restoring soil fertility.