Assessing the effects of using compost–sludge mixtures to reduce erosion in road embankments
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Arid environmentErosionRoads embankmentsCompost-sludge mixturesCompostSludge
de Oña, J.; Osorio, F.; García, P.A. Assessing the effects of using compost–sludge mixtures to reduce erosion in road embankments. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 164(2-3): 1257–1265 (2009). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/24400]
SponsorshipDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Granada, Spain
Recent research shows the benefits derived from applying compost and sludge to road embankments to enhance the cover crop and reduce soil loss due to erosion, particularly in arid environments. Following this line of research, the study described in this paper analyzes and compares the use of sludge and compost for the purposes mentioned. In the first phase of this study, compost or sludge was applied separately to road embankments, and in the second phase both were applied simultaneously. This paper discusses the results obtained in each case. Our study was conducted on a total of 32 plots, located along a road embankment. The 32 plots, each with an area of 20m2, were divided into two groups of 16. One group was placed on a 2:1 side slope, and the other was on a 3:2 side slope. Each group received four different compost dosages (0, 40, 60 and 80 t/ha) and four sludge dosages (0, 60, 80 and 100 t/ha). Four plant species were selected to be planted in each plot. Our study analyzes the survival rate of the plants, their growth rate and germination, colonization of the plots by other species, cover crop per plot, and soil loss, all in relation to the compost and sludge dosage as well as the side slope type. The results obtained show that when only sludge or compost was applied to the plot, soil loss was reduced by an average of 35%, whereas when a mixture of sludge and compost was applied, soil erosion was reduced by 63% to as much as 90%.