Morphological characteristics of top soiling in the reclamation areas of post-coal mining at Kutai Kartanegara and Kutai Timur Regencies


  • Mulyadi Mulyadi Faculty of Agriculture, Mulawarman University
  • Makhrawie Makhrawie Faculty of Agriculture, Mulawarman University



morphological characteristics, post-coal mining, reclamation areas, top soiling


This study aimed to obtain information about the impact of different morphological characteristics and genesis at some reclamation sites after coal-mining activities. Two coal sites were chosen as study areas, i.e. the Separi site, which is located in Kutai Kartanegara regency and the Bengalon site, located in Kutai Timur Regency. A descriptive research method was used to identify the morphological characteristics of reclamation sites at different times (chronosequence). The results showed that in-situ weathering, indicated by soil leaching caused by rainwater infiltration, led to the formation of the Ah horizon more than two years after the reclamation activity. The process of material removal and disposal (cutting, filling, transporting and levelling) from coal mining operations tends to accelerate the decomposition of parent soil material and promote the formation of pre-cambic horizons. The soils used (horizon A, B, and C) for the topsoil of the reclamation site were initially Typic Hapludults and Typic Dystropepts, although Typic Tropaquents and sandy parent materials were also used. Due to the impermeable layers of overburdening where water channels in the soil profile and deeper layers have not yet formed as human-made soil and landscape (artificial) cause rainwater to fail to infiltrate deeper layers so that with less heavy rain, the groundwater level will rise to the surface and the land will become waterlogged/flooded.


Aditya, H.F., Gandaseca, S., Rayes, M.L., Karam, D.S., Prayogo, C. and Nugroho, G.A. 2020. Characterization, changes in soil properties and vegetation distribution as affected by topography in Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia. AGRIVITA Journal of Agricultural Science 42(3):548-562, doi:10.17503/agrivita.v42i3.2617.

Aditya, H.F., Gandaseca, S., Rayes, M.L. and Karam, D.S. 2021. Toposequent effect on soil morphology and classification of Ultisols in the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, Peninsular Malaysia. Jurnal Sylva Lestari 9(2):202–212, doi:10.23960/jsl29202-212.

Aji, K, Mas, A. and Nurudin, M. 2020. Relationship between soil morphology and variability of upland degradation in Bogowonto Watershed, Central Java. Indonesia. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management 7(3):2209-2219, doi:10.15243/jdmlm.2020.073.2209.

Arisnawan, R.A. 2015. The mechanical and dynamic characteristics of clay shale due to changes in water content (Thesis).

Buol, S.W.M., Gouthard, R.J., Graham, R.C. and McDaniel, P.A. 2011. Soil Genesis and Classification. 6th ed, Willey-Blackwell, A. John Willey & Sons Inc., U.K.

Chaubery, O.P., Bohre, P. dan Singhal, P.K. 2012. Impact of bio-reclamation of coal mine spoil on nutritional and microbial characteristics. International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-Technology 4(3):69-80.

Ezeoko, I.O.T., Bezuidenhout, C.C., Mouboeta, M.S., Khasa, D.M. and Adeleke, R.A. 2020. Structural and functional differentiation of bacterial communities in post-coal mining reclamation soils of South Africa: bioindicators of soils ecosystem restoration. Scientific Reports 10:1759, doi:10.1036/s41598-020-58576-5.

Fandicha, 2011. Soils in Indonesia. (in Indonesian).

Hapsari, L., Trimanto, and Budiharta, S. 2020. Spontaneous plant recolonization on reclaimed post-coal mining sites in East Kalimantan, Indonesia: native versus alien and succession progress. Biodiversitas 21(5):2003-2018, doi:10.13057/biodiv/d210527.

Hartati, T.M. 2018. Evaluation of land, soil fertility of several plantation crops and improvement of soil properties to increase production of Pala in Galela, North Halmahera. Dissertation, Faculty of Agriculture, Universitas Gadjah Mada (in Indonesian).

Hermawan, B. 2011. Improving the quality of ex-mining land through revegetation and its suitability as food crop agriculture land. Proceedings of National Seminar on Agricultural Cultivation. Bengkulu University. Bengkulu (in Indonesian).

Kartawisastra, S and R.A. Gani. 2020. Ex-coal mine lands and their suitability for agriculture commodities in South Kalimantan. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management 7(3):2171-2183, doi:10.15243/jdmlm.2020. 073.2171.

Khaidir A., Purwanto, B.H., Nurudin, M. and Hanudin, E. 2019. Morphology and psychochemical properties of soils in the reclamation of ex-coal mining. Indian Journal of Agricultural Research 52(2):184-189, doi:10.18805/IJARe.A-332.

Markley, L.A.T. 2017. Characterization of the Goethite-Hematite Ratio in Modern and Ancient Soil in the Mid-Atlantic Region as a Paleoprecipitation Proxy. Lehigh University, USA. content.

Mukhopadhyay, S., Maiti, S.K. and Masto, R.E. 2014. Development of mine soil Quality Index (RMSI) for evaluation of reclamation success: a chronosequence study. Journal of Ecological Engineering 71:10-20.

Munawar. 1999. Coal-mine Soil Reclamation and Its Possible Agricultural Use in Bengkulu. Proceedings of Seminar Toward Sustainable Agriculture in Humid Tropics Facing 21st Century 107-124 (in Indonesian).

Nasrudin. 2021. Spatial characteristics of coal mining in Kutai Kartanegara Regency, East Kalimantan Province. Sumatra Journal of Disaster, Geography and Geography Education 1(2):152-154. doi:10.24036/sjdgge. v1j2.101.

Noviyanto, A., Junun, S. and Purwanto, B.H. 2020. The distribution of soil morphological characteristics for landslide-impacted Sumbing Vulcano, Central Java-Indonesia. Geoenvironmental Disaster 7, Article number: 25 (2020), doi:10.1186/ s40677-020-00158-8.

Noviyanto, A., Purwanto, S. Minardi and Supriyadi. 2017. The assessment of soil quality of various ages of land reclamation after coal mining: a chronosequence study. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management 5(1):1009-1019, doi:10.15243/jgmlm.2017.051.1009.

Prasetyo, B.H., Suharta, N., Subagyo, H. and Hikmatullah, H. 2016. Chemical and mineralogical properties of Ultisols of Sasamba area, East Kalimantan. Indonesian Journal of Agricultural Science 2(2):37-47, doi: 10.21082/ijas.v2n2.2001.37-47.

Pratiwi, Narendra, B.H., Siregar, C.A., Turjaman, M., Hidayat, A., Rachmat, H.H., Mulyanto, B., Suwardi, Iskandar, and Maharani, R. 2021. Managing and reforesting degraded post-mining landscape in Indonesia: a review. Land 10(6):658, doi:10.3390/land10060658.

Schroeder, P.D., Daniels, W.L. and M.M. Alley, M.M. 2010. Chemical and physical properties of reconstructed mineral sand mine soil in Southeastern Virginia. Soil Science 175(1):1-9.

Singh, S.K. and Chandran, P. 2017. Soil Genesis and Classification. In: Rattan, R.K., Katyal, J.C. and B.S.Dwived, B.S. (eds), Soil Science-An Introduction, Indian Society of Soil Science pp.57-96

Soil Survey Staff. 2011. Soil Survey Laboratory Information Manual. Soil Survey Investigations Report No. 45, Version 2.0. R. Burt (ed.). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Services.

Soil Survey Staff. 2013. Simplified Guide to Soil Taxonomy. USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Services-National Survey Center, Lincoln, NE.

Soil Survey Staff. 2014a. Keys to Soil Taxonomy. USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Services. Twelfth Edition.

Soil Survey Staff. 2014b. Illustrated Guide to Soil Taxonomy. USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Services. National Soil Service Center, Lincoln Nebraska.

Sopialena, Rosfiansyah, and Sila, S. 2017. The benefit of topsoil and fertilizer mixture to improve ex-coal mining land. Nusantara Bioscience 1(1):36-43, doi:10.13057/nusbiosci/n090107.

Thomas, K.A., Sencindives, J.C., Skousen, J.G. and Gorman, J.M. 2020. Soil horizon development on a mountain top surface mine in Southern West Virginia. Journal of Green Lands 30:41-52.

Yusoff, K.H.M., Abdu, A., Sakurai, K., Tanaka, S. and Kang, Y. 2017. Soil morphology and chemical properties in home gardens on sandy beach ridges along the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 63(4):357-368, doi:10.1080/ 00380768.2017.1340077.

Zulkarnain, Z., Joy, B., Tuhpawana, P. and Prawira, I 2014. Soil erosion assessment of the post-coal mining site in Kutai Kartanegara District, East Kalimantan Province. International Journal of Science and Engineering 7(2):130-136.








How to Cite

Mulyadi, M., & Makhrawie, M. (2023). Morphological characteristics of top soiling in the reclamation areas of post-coal mining at Kutai Kartanegara and Kutai Timur Regencies. Journal of Degraded and Mining Lands Management, 10(2), 4163–4177.



Research Article