W. L. Daniels

W. L. Daniels
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | VT · Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences

PhD

About

287
Publications
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Publications

Publications (287)
Article
Full-text available
Background Human wastewater biosolids, hereafter referred to as biosolids, are produced in significant quantities around the world and often applied to an extensive land mass including agricultural fields, forests, mine lands, and urban areas. Land-application of biosolids has been reported in peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed work to change soil...
Chapter
This chapter summarizes environmental processes causing elevated total dissolved solids (TDS) and associated trace elements in streams influenced by mining in non-acid-forming geologic strata, discusses the spatial distribution of mining impacts on water quality, and describes the contaminants’ biological effects. Appalachian coal mining affects wa...
Chapter
The history of the Appalachian Mountains commenced with breakup of a supercontinent in the Late Precambrian era, followed by passive-margin development in the Cambrian through Middle Ordovician. Collision with island arcs in the Late Ordovician and Devonian was followed by collision with Africa at the end of the Paleozoic, resulting in building of...
Chapter
Mine soils are anthropogenic soils formed in mine spoils. Mine soils on older sites were not purposefully placed and slowly changed with soil-forming processes to form plant growth media. Some early mine soils were made of materials such as large rocks, coal remnants, carbonaceous shales, and acid sandstones which are poorly suited for productive v...
Article
Created wetlands used to mitigate impacts to natural wetlands often have lower organic matter (OM), less microtopography, fewer hydric soil field indicators (HSFI's), and higher bulk density (BD) than natural wetlands. Organic matter amendments may improve soil properties soon after wetland construction, but long‐term effects are seldom studied. Th...
Article
A rapid batch extraction method was evaluated to estimate potential for total dissolved solids (TDS) release by 65 samples of rock from coal and gas-bearing strata of the Appalachian Basin in eastern USA. Three different extractant solutions were considered: deionized water (DI), DI equilibrated with 10% CO2 atmosphere (DI + CO2), or 30% H2O2 under...
Presentation
Regulatory approval of compensatory wetland creation projects requires a site-specific water budget to predict the post-construction hydroperiod. However, created wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic USA frequently differ in their hydroperiod from wetlands they were designed to replace. We designed the Wetbud model to allow for increased consistency and fl...
Article
Elevated total dissolved solids (TDS) in Appalachian coal mining-influenced streams result from the interaction of oxygen and rainwater with fractured mine rocks. The weathering of common minerals in sedimentary coal-bearing strata such as silicates (quartz, feldspars, muscovite and chlorite), sulfides (pyrite), and carbonates (including siderite)...
Presentation
Regulatory approval of compensatory wetland creation projects requires a site-specific water budget to predict the post-construction hydroperiod. However, created wetlands in the Mid-Atlantic USA frequently differ in their hydroperiod from wetlands they were designed to replace. We designed the Wetbud model to allow for increased consistency and fl...
Article
Surface coal mining fractures geologic materials to access coal seams. The excavated rock materials (mine spoils) have freshly exposed mineral surfaces that weather rapidly and release soluble ions to streams during and after site reclamation. The soluble ion release is directly influenced by the mine spoil mineralogy. We examined relationships amo...
Article
Anthropogenic soils (referred to here as anthrosoils) are soils that have been influenced, modified, or created by human activity. They are found worldwide in urban and other human‐impacted landscapes. Four distinct types of anthrosoils can be distinguished based on geographical setting and historical context: (i) agricultural, (ii) archaeological,...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A common result of Environmental Impact Assessments associated with mining projects is the construction of new wetlands in areas disturbed by mining operations. Where appropriate, this mitigation may be considered an integral part of the mine reclamation process under the principles of sustainable development in the minerals industry. Wetbud is a n...
Chapter
Soils of urban and human-impacted landscapes (Anthrosols) differ from soils normally found in natural settings in that they have been modified so profoundly by human activity that they have characteristics outside the range of native soil series and require reclassification as a different type of soil. Anthrosols are widely distributed in agricultu...
Article
Surface mining in the central Appalachian coalfields (USA) influences water quality because the interaction of infiltrated waters and O2 with freshly exposed mine spoils releases elevated levels of total dissolved solids (TDS) to streams. Modeling and predicting the short- and long-term TDS release potentials of mine spoils can aid in the managemen...
Article
Rock-derived overburden material is used as a topsoil substitute for reclamation of Appalachian coal mines. We evaluated five mixtures (n = 4 each) of sandstone (SS) and siltstone (SiS) overburden as topsoil substitutes for 25+ years to quantify changes in mine soil properties. The study area was planted only to tall fescue [Schedonorus arundinaceu...
Article
Appalachian USA surface coal mines face public and regulatory pressure to reduce total dissolved solids (TDS) in discharge waters, primarily due to effects on sensitive macroinvertebrates. Specific conductance (SC) is an accurate surrogate for TDS and relatively low levels of SC (300–500 μS cm−1) have been proposed as regulatory benchmarks for inst...
Article
Urban land development frequently destroys soil structure and removes organic matter, limiting tree growth. Soil rehabilitation has potential to improve soil quality but the long-term effectiveness and consequences for tree growth are poorly documented. We evaluated growth, canopy development, and physiological response of five tree species over si...
Article
Appalachian surface coal mine overburden affects water quality as drainage percolates through spoil disposal fills. This study evaluated leaching potentials of 15 spoils from south-central Appalachia. Most bulk samples were non acid-forming, all were low in total-S, (≤0.34%), and initial saturated paste specific conductance (SC) ranged from 264 to...
Article
Upland placement of dredge sediments has the potential to provide beneficial reuse of suitable sediments for agricultural uses or urban soil reconstruction. However, the use of many dredge materials is limited by contaminants, and most established screening protocols focus on limiting major contaminants such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic...
Article
Full-text available
The process of pedogenesis and the development of biological communities during primary succession begin on recently exposed mineral surfaces. Following 30 years of surface exposure of reclaimed surface mining sites (Appalachian Mountains, USA), it was hypothesized that microbial communities would differ between sandstone and siltstone parent mater...
Article
Sustainability of mined-land reclamation is of growing importance, with over 600,000 ha of the Appalachian coal region disturbed since 1977. Long-term evaluation of soil under various reclamation strategies is also important. Aggregation and organic matter (OM) influence both soil structure and function and can be of use in evaluating reclaimed sys...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic salinization of freshwaters is a global concern. Coal surface mining causes release of dissolved sulfate, bicarbonate, calcium, magnesium, and other ions to surface waters in central Appalachia, USA, through practices that include mine rock disposal in valley fills (VFs). This region's surface waters naturally have low salinity, with...
Article
Full-text available
Appalachian USA coal mines have been implicated as major stressors to aquatic life in headwater streams via discharge of total dissolved solids (TDS). This paper summarizes column leaching studies of spoils (n > 50) and refuse and TDS effects on local water quality and biotic response. The initial pH of most materials is near-neutral. Initial speci...
Article
Full-text available
The Appalachian coal industry has been successful in developing technologies to identify, handle, treat and isolate potentially acid-forming overburden materials at coal mines in the region. Modern coal mining permits have stringent guidelines for reclamation and water discharge limits. Total dissolved solids (TDS) is a new water quality parameter...
Article
Full-text available
A study was undertaken using urban soils in Detroit, MI and reference materials (cerussite, anglesite, pyromorphite, apatite, goethite, calcite, pyrolusite, and peat) to determine which geochemical forms of Pb measured by sequential extraction analysis are bioaccessible. The results suggest that the water soluble (Pb-fulvic acid complexes), exchang...
Article
Soil development and organic matter (OM) accumulation are vital for sustainability in reclaimed prime farmlands following mineral sands mining. Additionally, the effectiveness of soil reconstruction techniques on soil development greatly influences crop productivity. Soil development and management effects following mineral sands mining were evalua...
Article
Full-text available
Economically viable and environmentally acceptable methods to recycle organic wastes are needed by the pulp and paper industry. We assessed the potential for composting the Virginia Fibre Corporation's (VFC) combined primary and secondary dewatered paper mill sludge (PMS) and evaluated the suitability of the finished product as a potting soil subst...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mineral sands mining in Virginia has potential to disturb over 4000 ha of prime farmland in Virginia and North Carolina, USA. Working cooperatively with Iluka Resources and local regulators, it was decided that an appropriate measure of "reclamation success" would be comparison of post-mining crop yields against (a) the 5-year running average for c...
Article
A chronological sequence of urban soils 3-92 years old was studied to determine the effects of time on morphogenesis, artifact weathering, and the geochemical partitioning of Pb. Key chronofunctions determined are an increase in ˆA horizon Development Index (defined herein based on soil color) and water-soluble Pb, and a decrease in pH and C/N, wit...
Chapter
Full-text available
The Lisa Matthews Memorial Bay contains a population of the federally endangered Canby's Dropwort (Oxypolis canbyi). The wetland depression is similar to a Carolina bay, but lacks the classic elliptical shape of Carolina bays. Canby's Dropwort is found in the shallow portion of the bay. The 21-hectare preserve is located on the Coastal Plain in Bam...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4) are three major greenhouse gases (GHG) contributing to global climate change. We asked how urban land development practices and also subsequent soil management can affect GHG efflux. Urbanization can degrade soils, potentially reducing ecosystem function and m...
Article
The utility of potassium adsorption isotherm analysis (KIA) for relative dating and correlation of soil chronosequences was assessed by a comparison with some widely used mineralogical techniques. The soils studied, near Detroit, Michigan, are brown (10YR) calcareous Entisols developed in Holocene (~ 4 kA) floodplain sediments, and Inceptisols and...
Article
The fate of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) belowground is important to current and future climate models as soils warm in northern latitudes. Currently, little is known about the sensitivity of microbial respiration to temperature changes at depths below 15 cm. We used whole-core (7.6 cm dia. × 90 cm) laboratory incubations to determine if temperature...
Patent
Full-text available
Soil Profile Rebuilding is an appropriate soil restoration technique for sites where topsoil has been completely or partially removed and subsoil layers have been compacted (graded and/or trafficked by equipment). It may also be used with some modifications if topsoil is present. This is not an appropriate technique in sites with surface compaction...
Article
Full-text available
Harbor and ship channel maintenance dredging by the Maryland Port Administration has historically presented a dredge disposal and utilization challenge due to metals and the potential acidity of their sediments. Post-placement low pH (<4.0) has been problematic for vegetation establishment and also reduces the pH of water moving through or over the...
Article
Full-text available
Significant areas of prime farmland in the upper Coastal Plain of Virginia have been disturbed by heavy mineral sands (Ti/Zr-bearing ilmenite, rutile, zircon) mining over the past 15 years. Mine soils created by the deposition of tailings and slimes in dewatering pits exhibit physical and chemical properties that limit agricultural use due to abrup...
Article
Full-text available
Crop establishment on saline-source fine textured dredged materials is challenging due to the adverse physical properties of the material (e.g. fine texture and lack of structure) and short-term salinity. Two approaches to improve crop establishment and soil properties on such dredged materials on an upland deposition site in Virginia were tested:...
Article
Full-text available
Biosolids deep-row incorporation (DRI) provides high levels of nutrients to the reclamation sites; however, additions of N in excess of the vegetation requirements can potentially impair water quality. The effects of anaerobically digested (AD) and lime stabilized (LS) DRI biosolids and inorganic N fertilizer were compared on C and N transformation...
Article
Urban construction activities damage soil structure and reduce organic matter, reducing tree growth rates and canopy coverage. Soil rehabilitation protocols are therefore needed to improve soil and promote root development after planting. This study evaluates four protocols for soil rehabilitation by determining their effects on soil physical prope...
Conference Paper
Over 1500 ha of prime farmland soils in the Coastal Plain of Virginia have been disturbed to date by mining for heavy mineral sands (ilmenite and Zircon) since 1997 and an additional 2500 ha in the region contain economic reserves. Early reclaimed lands were hampered by excessive compaction, poor drainage and low pH + available P. Detailed morpholo...
Conference Paper
Reclaimed mine soils have great potential to accumulate and store carbon (C) in both the eastern and western United States. Carbon has been reported to accumulate in mine soils at between 0.13 and 3.1 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 under re-established grasses; however, no distinction is made for various climatic regimes or the permanency of accumulated C. Reclaim...
Article
Full-text available
Deep row incorporation of biosolids is an alternative land treatment method whose typically high rates may result in elevated pollutant transport. The objectives of this research were to compare the effects of entrenched biosolids stabilization type and rate on heavy metal chemistry and mobility. Two rates each of Alexandria (Virginia) Sanitation A...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Physical and biological properties of soils developing from spoil material following surface coal mining in southwest Virginia are poorly understood. Additionally, the effects of various types of soil amendments such as sawdust, topsoil or biosolids on long-term soil development are lacking in the current literature. The objective of this study was...
Presentation
This paper will present collective results of 25 years of research by the authors into the use of municipal biosolids (sewage sludge) and other residuals to reclaim sites disturbed by a range of mining and construction activities. Loading rate experiments and demonstrations have been conducted on areas drastically disturbed by coal mining, sand min...
Article
Full-text available
Phytoremediation strategies utilize plants to decontaminate or immobilize soil pollutants. Among soil pollutants, metalloid As is considered a primary concern as a toxic element to organisms. Arsenic concentrations in the soil result from anthropogenic activities such as: the use of pesticides (herbicides and fungicides); some fertilizers; Au, Pb,...
Article
Thousands of depressional wetlands accidentally formed as a result of pre-1977 contour coal mining in the Appalachian Mountains. Eleven 20-yr old sites were found in a watershed that did not receive acid mine drainage. The purpose of this study was to quantify and model above- and below-ground plant biomass in these created wetlands and to evaluate...
Article
Agronomic use of biosolids has raised concern that plant availability of biosolids-Cd will increase with time after cessation of biosolids application. It has been demonstrated that chemical extractability of Cd is persistently decreased in biosolids-amended soils. This study was conducted to determine if Cd phytoavailability in long-term biosolids...
Article
The mining of heavy mineral sands will result in the disturbance of more than 2500 ha of prime farmland in Virginia and North Carolina during the next 20 years. The physical and chemical properties of the mine soils that result from the mining and reclamation process were studied in a replicated small-plot experiment on pilot mining pits. Separatio...
Article
Full-text available
Soil organic matter (OM) is an important feature of natural wetlands (NWs) often lacking in created wetlands (CWs). Some have suggested that OM amendments be used to accelerate development of edaphic conditions in CWs. Our objective was to investigate microbial and geochemical responses to compost amendments at a CW. Five levels of amendments were...
Article
Full-text available
It is well known that soil microbial communities reestablish following disturbance, but limited research has been done on how long this takes in eastern reclaimed coal mine soils. The objective of this study was to track the development of total microbial biomass in reclaimed mine soils following coal mining in southwestern Virginia. A chronosequen...
Article
Full-text available
Phytoremediation strategies utilize plants to decontaminate or immobilize soil pollutants. Among soil pollutants the metalloid arsenic (As) is the one of primary concern. Elevated soil As results from anthropogenic activities such as use of pesticides (herbicides and fungicides), use of certain fertilizers, metal mining, iron and steel production,...
Article
Full-text available
Topsoil means many things to many people, but to everyone it represents the best part of the soil from a plant-growth perspective. Many activities alter the soil profile including surface mining, agriculture, and urban development. Of these, mining is subject to state and national regulations for protection of soil and the USDA has a series of prog...
Article
Full-text available
Particulate organic matter (POM) and aggregate recovery following mining disturbances are important for soil biogeochemical properties and ecosystem function. The objective of this study was to track POM accumulation and aggregation in reclaimed soils following coal mining in southwestern Virginia. A chronosequence of sites was selected based on sh...
Article
Full-text available
This work was conducted at a large gold mine in Paracatu, MG, Brazil, between March 2000 and November 2005. The waste rock studied was a phyllite which contained (in addition to gold) sulfides such as pyrite and arsenopyrite. The objective was to evaluate the survival and growth of plant species on different combinations of plant growth substrate l...
Article
Full-text available
Stormwater runoff from both urban and rural areas contains a significant amount of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. These nutrients contribute to the growth of algae and therefore degrade the quality of surface waters by reducing available oxygen. As a result, state environmental agencies have directed their attention to nutrient concentr...