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Concept: Land reclamation

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A 0.6 hectare artificial reef of local rock and recycled concrete sleepers was constructed in December 2006 at Parker Point in the industrial port of Dampier, western Australia, with the aim of providing an environmental offset for a nearshore coral community lost to land reclamation. Corals successfully colonised the artificial reef, despite the relatively harsh environmental conditions at the site (annual water temperature range 18-32°C, intermittent high turbidity, frequent cyclones, frequent nearby ship movements). Coral settlement to the artificial reef was examined by terracotta tile deployments, and later stages of coral community development were examined by in-situ visual surveys within fixed 25 x 25 cm quadrats on the rock and concrete substrates. Mean coral density on the tiles varied from 113 ± 17 SE to 909 ± 85 SE per m(2) over five deployments, whereas mean coral density in the quadrats was only 6.0 ± 1.0 SE per m(2) at eight months post construction, increasing to 24.0 ± 2.1 SE per m(2) at 62 months post construction. Coral taxa colonising the artificial reef were a subset of those on the surrounding natural reef, but occurred in different proportions-Pseudosiderastreatayami, Mycediumelephantotus and Leptastreapurpurea being disproportionately abundant on the artificial reef. Coral cover increased rapidly in the later stages of the study, reaching 2.3 ± 0.7 SE % at 62 months post construction. This study indicates that simple materials of opportunity can provide a suitable substrate for coral recruitment in Dampier Harbour, and that natural colonisation at the study site remains sufficient to initiate a coral community on artificial substrate despite ongoing natural and anthropogenic perturbations.

Concepts: Coral reef, Scleractinia, Water pollution, Environmental science, Colonialism, Land reclamation, Colonization, Turbidity

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A landfill reclamation project was considered to recover landfill airspace and soil, reduce future groundwater impacts by removing the waste buried in the unlined area, and optimize airspace use at the site. A phased approach was utilized to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of the reclamation project; based on the results of these evaluations, approximately 6.8ha of the unlined cells were reclaimed. Approximately 371,000 in-place cubic meters of waste was mined from 6.8ha in this project. Approximately 230,600 cubic meters of net airspace was recovered due to beneficial use of the recovered final cover soil and reclaimed soil as intermediate and daily cover soil, respectively, for the current landfill operations. This paper presents the researchers' landfill reclamation project experience, including a summary of activities pertaining to reclamation operations, an estimation of reclamation rates achieved during the project, project costs and benefits, and estimated composition of the reclaimed materials.

Concepts: Soil, Waste management, Estimation, Recycling, Landfill, Land reclamation, Waste picker, Daily cover

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Artificial sweeteners are gaining acceptance as tracers of human wastewater in the environment. The 3 artificial sweeteners analyzed in this study were detected in leachate or leachate-impacted groundwater at levels comparable to those of untreated wastewater at 14 of 15 municipal landfill sites tested, including several closed for >50 years. Saccharin was the dominant sweetener in old (pre-1990) landfills, while newer landfills were dominated by saccharin and acesulfame (introduced 2 decades ago; dominant in wastewater). Cyclamate was also detected, but less frequently. A case study at one site illustrates the use of artificial sweeteners to identify a landfill-impacted groundwater plume discharging to a stream. The study results suggest that artificial sweeteners can be useful tracers for current and legacy landfill contamination, with relative abundances of the sweeteners potentially providing diagnostic ability to distinguish different landfills or landfill cells, including crude age-dating, and to distinguish landfill and wastewater sources.

Concepts: Groundwater, Anaerobic digestion, Leachate, Landfill, Land reclamation, Aspartame, Sweeteners, Sucralose

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Due to increasing development Southeast Asia’s coastlines are undergoing massive changes, but the associated impacts on marine habitats are poorly known. Singapore, a densely populated island city-state, is a quintessential example of coastal modification that has resulted in the (hitherto undocumented) loss of seagrass. We reconstructed the historic extent and diversity of local seagrass meadows through herbarium records and backwards extrapolation from contemporary seagrass locations. We also determined the current status of seagrass meadows using long-term monitoring data and identified the main threats to their presence in Singapore. Results show that, even though ∼45% of seagrass has been lost during the last five decades, species diversity remains stable. The main cause of seagrass loss was, and continues to be, land reclamation. We conclude that strict controls on terrestrial runoff and pollution have made it possible for seagrass to persist adjacent to this highly urbanised city-state.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Southeast Asia, Demography, Population density, Indonesia, Singapore, Land reclamation, Seagrass

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Coal mining has led to increasingly serious land subsidence, and the reclamation of the subsided land has become a hot topic of concern for governments and scholars. Soil quality of reclaimed land is the key indicator to the evaluation of the reclamation effect; hence, rapid monitoring and evaluation of reclaimed land is of great significance. Visible-near infrared (Vis-NIR) spectroscopy has been shown to be a rapid, timely and efficient tool for the prediction of soil organic carbon (SOC). In this study, 104 soil samples were collected from the Baodian mining area of Shandong province. Vis-NIR reflectance spectra and soil organic carbon content were then measured under laboratory conditions. The spectral data were first denoised using the Savitzky-Golay (SG) convolution smoothing method or the multiple scattering correction (MSC) method, after which the spectral reflectance ® was subjected to reciprocal, reciprocal logarithm and differential transformations to improve spectral sensitivity. Finally, regression models for estimating the SOC content by the spectral data were constructed using partial least squares regression (PLSR). The results showed that: (1) The SOC content in the mining area was generally low (at the below-average level) and exhibited great variability. (2) The spectral reflectance increased with the decrease of soil organic carbon content. In addition, the sensitivity of the spectrum to the change in SOC content, especially that in the near-infrared band of the original reflectance, decreased when the SOC content was low. (3) The modeling results performed best when the spectral reflectance was preprocessed by Savitzky-Golay (SG) smoothing coupled with multiple scattering correction (MSC) and first-order differential transformation (modeling R2 = 0.86, RMSE = 2.00 g/kg, verification R2 = 0.78, RMSE = 1.81 g/kg, and RPD = 2.69). In addition, the first-order differential of R combined with SG, MSC with R, SG together with MSC and R also produced better modeling results than other pretreatment combinations. Vis-NIR modeling with specific spectral preprocessing methods could predict SOC content effectively.

Concepts: Regression analysis, Linear regression, Soil, Geology, Least squares, Coal, Land reclamation, Sinkhole

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As it is well-known, the characterization plan of an old landfill site is the first stage of the project for the treatment and reclamation of contaminated lands. It is a preliminary in-situ study, with collection of data related to pollution phenomena, and is aimed at defining the physical properties and the geometry of fill materials as well as the possible migration paths of pollutants to the surrounding environmental targets (subsoil and groundwater). To properly evaluate the extent and potential for subsoil contamination, waste volume and possible leachate emissions from the landfill have to be assessed. In such perspective, the integrated use of geophysical methods is an important tool as it allows a detailed 3D representation of the whole system, i.e. waste body and hosting environment (surrounding rocks). This paper presents a very accurate physical and structural characterization of an old landfill and encasing rocks obtained by an integrated analysis of data coming from a multi-methodological geophysical exploration. Moreover, drillings were carried out for waste sampling and characterization of the landfill body, as well as for calibration of the geophysical modeling.

Concepts: Pollution, Recycling, Leachate, Landfill, Land reclamation, Waste picker, Geophysics, Exploration geophysics

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Clogging of the leachate collection system (LCS) has been a common operation problem in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in China, which can result in high water levels that threaten the safety of landfill operations. To determine the cause of failure in an LCS, raw leachate from a municipal solid waste transfer station was collected and the high content of particulate matter was characterized. Based on the parameters obtained in a filtration test, a numerical simulation was performed to estimate the influence of particle deposition on drainage system clogging. The results showed that LCSs were confronted with the risk of clogging due to the deposition of particulate matter resulting from the higher concentration of total suspended solids (TSS level > 2200 mg L-1) and larger particle size (>30% TSS particles > 15 μm) in the leachate. On one hand, the non-woven geotextile, as the upper layer of the LCS, retained most particulate matter of large diameters, reducing its hydraulic conductivity to approximately 10-8to 10-9m s-1after 1-2 years of operation and perching significant leachate above it (0.6-0.7 m). On the other hand, the geotextile prevented the gravel layer from physically clogging and minimized the leachate head above the bottom liner. Therefore, the role of geotextile should be balanced to optimize the LCS in MSW landfills in China.

Concepts: Mathematics, Particle physics, Anaerobic digestion, Waste management, Recycling, Leachate, Landfill, Land reclamation

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Anthropogenic activities such as land reclamation are threatening tidal marshes worldwide. This study’s hypothesis is that land reclamation in a semi-enclosed bay alters the seasonal dynamics of intertidal benthic infauna, which is a key component in the tidal marsh ecosystem. Mai Po Tidal Marsh, Deep Bay, Pearl River Estuary, China was used as a case study to evaluate the hypothesis. Ecological models that simulate benthic biomass dynamics with governing environmental factors were developed, and various scenario experiments were conducted to evaluate the impact of reclamations. Environmental variables, selected from the areas of hydrodynamics, meteorology, and water quality based on correlation analysis, were used to generate Bayesian regression models for biomass prediction. The best-performing model, which considered average water age (i.e., a hydrodynamic indicator of estuarine circulation) in the previous month, salinity variation (i.e., standard deviation of salinity), and the total sunny period in the current month, captured well both seasonal and yearly trends in the benthic infauna observations from 2002 to 2008. This model was then used to simulate biomass dynamics with varying inputs of water age and salinity variation from coastal numerical models of different reclamation scenarios. The simulation results suggest that the reclamation in 2007 decreased the spatial and annual average benthic infauna biomass in the tidal marsh by 20%, which agreed with the 28% biomass decrease recorded by field survey. The range of biomass seasonal variation also decreased significantly from 2.1 to 230.5g/m(2) (without any reclamation) to 1.2 to 131.1g/m(2) (after the 2007 reclamation), which further demonstrates the substantial ecological impact of reclamation. The ecological model developed in this study could simulate seasonal biomass dynamics and evaluate the ecological impact of reclamation projects. It can therefore be applied to evaluate the ecological impact of coastal engineering projects for tidal marsh management, conservation, and restoration.

Concepts: Scientific method, Water, Ecology, Marsh, Coast, Land reclamation, Coastal geography, Tidal marsh

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Knowledge about the distribution and habitat preferences of a species is critical for its conservation. The Suweon Treefrog (Dryophytes suweonensis) is an endangered species endemic to the Republic of Korea. We conducted surveys from 2014 to 2016 at 890 potentially suitable sites across the entire range of the species in South Korea. We then assessed whether D. suweonensis was found in the current and ancestral predicted ranges, reclaimed and protected areas, and how the presence of agricultural floodwater affected its occurrence. Our results describe a 120 km increase in the southernmost known distribution of the species, and the absence of the species at lower latitudes. We then demonstrate a putative constriction on the species ancestral range due to urban encroachment, and provide evidence for a significant increase in its coastal range due to the colonisation of reclaimed land by the species. In addition, we demonstrate that D. suweonensis is present in rice fields that are flooded with water originating from rivers as opposed to being present in rice fields that are irrigated from underground water. Finally, the non-overlap of protected areas and the occurrence of the species shows that only the edge of a single site where D. suweonensis occurs is legally protected. Based on our results and the literature, we suggest the design of a site fitting all the ecological requirements of the species, and suggest the use of such sites to prevent further erosion in the range of D. suweonensis.

Concepts: Biodiversity, Conservation biology, Agriculture, Endangered species, Irrigation, Land reclamation, Convention on Biological Diversity, Conservation status

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China is a country with vast territory, but economic development and population growth have reduced the usable land resources in recent years. Therefore, reclamation by pumping and filling is carried out in eastern coastal regions of China in order to meet the needs of urbanization. However, large areas of reclaimed land need rapid drainage consolidation treatment. Based on past researches on how to improve the treatment efficiency of soft clay using vacuum preloading combined with electro-osmosis, a two-dimensional drainage plane model was proposed according to the Terzaghi and Esrig consolidation theory. However, the analytical solution using two-dimensional plane model was never involved. Current analytical solutions can’t have a thorough theoretical analysis of practical engineering and give relevant guidance. Considering the smearing effect and the rectangle arrangement pattern, an analytical solution is derived to describe the behavior of pore-water and the consolidation process by using EKG (electro-kinetic geo synthetics) materials. The functions of EKG materials include drainage, electric conduction and corrosion resistance. Comparison with test results is carried out to verify the analytical solution. It is found that the measured value is larger than the applied vacuum degree because of the stacking effect of the vacuum preloading and electro-osmosis. The trends of the mean measured value and the mean analytical value processes are comparable. Therefore, the consolidation model can accurately assess the change in pore-water pressure and the consolidation process during vacuum preloading combined with electro-osmosis.

Concepts: Electrochemistry, Arithmetic mean, Universe, Land reclamation, Corrosion, Drainage system