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1 January 2012 Soil and vegetation recovery after a well blowout and salt water release in northeastern British Columbia
Leonard A. Leskiw, Ron B. Sedor, Catherine M. Welsh, Takele B. Zeleke
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Abstract

Leskiw, L. A., Sedor, R. B., Welsh, C. M. and Zeleke, T. B. 2012. Soil and vegetation recovery after a well blowout and salt water release in northeastern British Columbia. Can. J. Soil Sci. 92: 179-190. The impact of brine release on soil and vegetation due to a gas well blowout in December 1999 near Fort Nelson, British Columbia was evaluated over a 10 year period. The objectives were to study spatial and temporal distribution of soil salinity and vegetation and determine whether reclamation would occur through a natural recovery process. Soil salinity and vegetation diversity indices were measured on six study sites and one control. Average electrical conductivity declined with time from approximately 3.0 dS m-1 and has remained below 2.0 dS m-1 since 2002. Cycling of ions between leaf litter and plant tissue resulted in high variability in topsoil electrical conductivity. Sodium adsorption ratio in the leaf litter and A horizons was low (<7), but remained high in B and C horizons (>14) after 2004. From 2002 to 2010 moss cover increased 40%, whereas shrubs decreased 30%. The most impacted plot showed higher diversity than the least impacted plots and the control (Shannon diversity index = 1.49, 1.36, 1.11 for most impacted, least impacted and control, respectively). Soil and vegetation indicated salt-affected plots were recovering naturally. Results from this study could potentially provide guidelines for future remediation and reclamation practices.

Leonard A. Leskiw, Ron B. Sedor, Catherine M. Welsh, and Takele B. Zeleke "Soil and vegetation recovery after a well blowout and salt water release in northeastern British Columbia," Canadian Journal of Soil Science 92(1), 179-190, (1 January 2012). https://doi.org/10.1139/CJSS2011-018
Received: 31 January 2011; Accepted: 11 October 2011; Published: 1 January 2012
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