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CitationHalvorson, G. A., & Lang, K. J. (1989). Revegetation of a salt water blowout site. Journal of Range Management, 42(1), 61-65.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractA salt water blowout at an oil drilling site in 1982 in a badlands area of western North Dakota caused severe damage to the native vegetation. A study was initiated to measure the effect of reclamation on soils and revegetation of the affected area. Basal cover and plant density were measured on a portion of the contaminated area following the blowout and in 1984 following reclamation of the site. The contaminated soil was reclaimed by adding CaCl2 to irrigation water which was used to leach the upper 15 cm of the soil profile. In July 1982, after the blowout, Distichlis stricta was essentially the only species growing at the site. In July 1984, following reclamation, species with the highest percent basal cover on the reclaimed half were Agropyron smithii (Rydb.), Bouteloua gracilis (H.E.K. Lag.), and Distichlis stricta (Torr.) Rydb. On the unreclaimed half Agropyron smithii, Distichlis stricta, Lepidium denisflorum Schrad., and Opuntia polycantha Haw. had the highest percent basal cover. In 1984, basal cover of the grasses on the reclaimed site was two-thirds of that on a site with no visible damage from the salt water. The percent bare ground was still 25% on the reclaimed half of the contaminated site in 1984, but had increased on the unreclaimed half to 43% leaving the surface open to potentially serious erosion. Soil data indicated that reclamation had successfully reduced sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) values in the surface 15 cm to more acceptable levels for vegetation recovery.