Topsoil Management

  • Subodh Kumar Maiti


The term ‘topsoil’ generally refers to the A soil horizon which is usually darker than the underlying soil because of the accumulation of organic matter Brady (2000). Topsoil primarily provides a suitable growth medium for vegetation. It is the major zone of root development and biological activity. All the microbial activities that enhance plant growth are present in this layer, including insects, earthworms, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and actinomycetes. They help in decaying of organic matter to form humus by mineralisation process and release plant nutrients in inorganic form. In addition, topsoil enhances soil structure and improves texture, infiltration characteristics and overall fertility status of mine spoils. Topsoiling is essential for rejuvenation of microbial life in the bare mine spoils. Topsoil, being a precious natural resource, is also required under legislation to remove, store and reuse appropriately in the ecorestoration work at the mine degraded lands. It may require establishing vegetation on shallow soils, soils containing potentially toxic materials, stony soils and soils of critically low pH (high acidity).


Mine Spoil Topsoil Layer Subsoil Layer Cone Penetrometer Overburden Material 


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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subodh Kumar Maiti
    • 1
  1. 1.Indian School of Mines Department of Environmental Science and EngineeringCentre for Mining EnvironmentDhanbadIndia

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