ABSTRACT It is well known that vegetation reduces off-site contamination that would result from surface flows. A significant portion of heavy metal contamination occurs at abandoned mine sites due to sediment movement. The effects of vegetation on sediment transport and surface runoff are reviewed, with an emphasis on factors that can reduce or prevent the movement of such metals in mine tailings. Several mathematical models for sediment transport in surface flows are briefly discussed, including advantages and limitations of the Universal Soil-Loss Equation and CREAMS model. Reported experimental and field data on contaminant transport in surface flows are reviewed and evaluated, as well as studies in treating the bioavailability of heavy metals in attempts to reduce metal phytotoxicity or decreasing the potential for entrance of the metals into the food chain via vegetation.
KEYWORDS: surface water, metal, sediments, vegetation
This paper is from the Proceedings of the HSRC/WERC Joint Conference on the Environment, May 1996, published in hard copy and on the Web by the Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Hazardous Substance Research Center.
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