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Clay Settling Areas The large amounts of clay that are displaced from strip mining operations are accumulated by phosphate companies and left to settle, causing huge changes in the way that water moves through a former mine site.
Instead, the clay is stored in huge settling ponds on the mine site. About 40 percent of a mine site will be clay settling areas. These settling ponds have a negative impact on the surrounding ecosystem, intercepting the rain that otherwise would soak into the soil.
While the engineering of clay settling ponds may have improved over time, they are still an environmental issue. They're full of waste that can be devastating if a leak or spill occurs. Because they "seal" the surface and don't allow water to seep underground or block the natural movement of groundwater, the ponds have a long-term negative effect on water supplies.
The finest particles of clay, sand and phosphate are separated in machines called cyclones during the first stages of beneficiation. They are suspended in a watery slurry, and pumped to large impoundment areas known as clay settling areas for natural settling. This clay is
Clay settling areas (CSAs) are waste products of phosphate mining in peninsular Florida. Phosphate-rich deposits cover much of peninsular Florida. Where mined, the phosphate-rich layer averages 3-4 m in thickness and is buried beneath an overburden
Clay‐settling areas (CSAs) are one of the most conspicuous and development‐limiting landforms remaining after phosphate mining. Many questions are asked by the mining and regulatory communities with regard to the correct modelling (predictive) methods and assumptions that should be used to yield viable hydrologic post‐reclamation landforms within CSAs.
The physical properties of the sand-clay mix are different from the properties of clay in conventional clay settling areas. Essentially, if the sand is well-mixed with the clay, it will act as grit and break up the fluid characteristics of the wet clay, adding considerable friction and potentially reducing trafficability problems and increasing pore space and drainage.
(b) Macrobeds, drainage landforms for intensive use of phosphatic clay, were developed at several phosphatic clay sites by the primary author in the mid-1990s. Differential settling eventually destroyed the macrobeds within 5–8 years depending upon the depth of the clay. At these sites, clay depths varied from 1 meter to more than 20 meters.
Reclaimed areas are isolated from other communities making migration and other natural behaviors difficult*. We know that fish, birds and other wildlife depend on sufficient and diverse habitat. When that habitat is gone, so are the populations of wildlife that depended on them.
E. grandisSRWCS on CSAs are at risk of blowdown near harvest age of three to four years. SRWC cost competitiveness depends on establishment success, yield improvements, harvesting costs, markets, and incentives; public and private partnering is necessary for commercializing SRWCs on ~123,000 acres of reclaimed phosphate mined lands.
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