Document Type


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Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography


This study investigated carbon (C) storage and biomass in grasslands of West Virginia reclaimed surface minesites. Mine-related disturbance and subsequent reclamation may be an important component of C cycling. Biomass and C storage generally increased for the first five years after reclamation, but then declined, suggesting a nonlinear pattern to vegetation recovery. Three 2007 Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper and Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus images were used to assess the potential to predict biomass from raw red and near infrared radiance, the tasseled cap transformation (TC), and four vegetation indices [normalized difference vegetation index, enhanced vegetation index (EVI), triangular vegetation index, and the soil adjusted vegetation index]. TC greenness and EVI were most strongly correlated with biomass and illustrate a modest potential for monitoring vegetation recovery in reclaimed minelands. Additionally, a number of regression models that included age since reclamation and spectral indices were statistically significant suggesting a temporal recovery pattern amongst minesites in this study.

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