Date of Award:

12-2019

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Plants, Soils, and Climate

Advisor/Chair:

Paul Grossl

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Astrid Jacobson

Third Advisor:

Scott Jones

Abstract

Plugged and abandoned well pads throughout the Uintah Basin face reclamation challenges due to factors including a harsh climate, invasive species, and high salt loads. Finding ways to alleviate soil sodicity could improve soil reclamation success. Gypsum, sulfur, activated carbon, and Biochar are being applied to improve soil parameters negatively impacted by sodicity, but the direct impact of these amendments on Uintah Basin soils is still largely unknown. The aim of this study was two-fold. (1) Evaluate the effectiveness of gypsum, sulfuric acid, Biochar, activated carbon, and combinations of these amendments in reducing the impact of soil sodicity of the Desilt and Conglomerate soils by measuring amendment impact on percent dispersion, saturated hydraulic conductivity, crust bulk density, infiltration, and crust formation. (2) Compare a crust bulk density method using ImageJ to the clod wax density method and a modified linear extensibility percent equation to the linear extensibility percent equation to assess whether the novel methods can be used to accurately measure and calculate soil crust bulk density and shrink swell potential while reducing human error and analysis time.

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