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Influence of Soil Cap Depth and Vegetation on Reclamation of Phosphogypsum Stacks in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

  • Author / Creator
    Turner, Elizabeth Lenore
  • This study quantified environmental parameters to develop reclamation strategies for phosphogypsum stacks. Research was conducted on phosphogypsum stack experimental plots established in 2006 (6 soil cap depths, 5 vegetation treatments), and soil capped slopes seeded in 1998. Significant root mass accumulations occurred at soil-phosphogypsum interfaces with 8, 15, 30 and 46 cm caps in 50% of cores. Peak water content occurred at this interface with all cap depths in fall 2010; trends differed in 2011. Maximum rooting depth increased with increased cap depth, root biomass did not. Vegetation performed better in capped than uncapped plots; cap depths ≥ 15 cm supported healthy vigorous plants. Vegetation on stacks had elevated fluorine, cobalt and nickel; plants from cap depths ≥ 8 cm had tissue concentrations safe for animal consumption. Snow metal concentrations increased with proximity to a neighbouring metal refinery. Nineteen years after capping and seeding stack slopes had 35 plant species.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2013-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R39M7H
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Renewable Resources
  • Specialization
    • Land Reclamation and Remediation
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. David S. Chanasyk, Renewable Resources
    • Dr. M. Anne Naeth, Renewable Resources
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Dr. James Unterschultz, Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
    • Dr. Connie Nichol, Renewable Resources, works at Agrium Inc.
    • Dr. Miles Dyck, Renewable Resources