Date of Award

10-31-2011

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S.

Keywords

Reclaimed coal-mine areas, vegetation growth, topsoil distribution

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Steven R. Hick

Second Advisor

Andrew Goetz

Abstract

A necessary precursor to ensure proper vegetation growth on reclaimed coal-mine areas is even distribution of topsoil. This capstone discusses development of surface models to describe the accurate determination and visualization of the distribution of topsoil. Prediction surfaces from topsoil-depth point samples were created using the surface interpolation methods, Inverse Distance Weighted and Kriging. The validity and accuracy of each method was assessed to determine the best method to evaluate actual topsoil distribution at a coal mining site. The model can be utilized by non- spatially trained personnel working in the mining arena as an aid in assessing how appropriately the topsoil has been distributed over newly reclaimed mine areas.

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