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Beneficial Uses
 Black Dot Image Introduction
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 Black Dot Image Sediment Types
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Agricultural/Product Uses
 Black Dot Image Aquaculture
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 Black Dot Image Topsoil

Engineered Uses
 Black Dot Image Beach Nourishment
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 Black Dot Image Land Creation
 Black Dot Image Land Improvement
 Black Dot Image Replacement Fill
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Environmental Enhancement
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Land Improvement

    Dredged material may be used for land improvement when the quality of existing land is not adequate for a planned use or where the elevation of the land is too low to prevent occasional flooding. As with land creation, the suitability of a particular dredged material for land improvement will depend largely on the intended use of the improved land.

    Proven methods have been developed for land improvement by filling with the fine material, such as silts and clays, produced by maintenance dredging. Various dewatering techniques may be utilized, such as: subdividing the placement area to allow filling to a limited depth on a rotational basis; reworking the filled area with low ground-pressure agricultural or earth-moving equipment; and mixing coarse-grained material with the fine-grained upper layer.

    Dredged material of fluvial origin is primarily eroded topsoils and organic matter that may be used on land of poor agricultural quality to improve the soil structure. Even material dredged from a saline environment may, after treatment, be suitable for use as topsoil. Mildly contaminated soils can be used for nonconsumptive land uses. Land improved using fine material is generally of lower strength than land improved using coarse-grained material. Potential applications include dairy and arable farming, recreation areas, playing fields, golf course, parks, light residential development or light commercial storage areas.

    Recommended Sediment Types

    • Rock
    • Gravel and sand
    • Consolidated clay
    • silt/soft clay
    • Mixture


    • Harrison, W., and Luik, A. (1980.) "Suitability of Dredged Material for Reclamation of Surface-mined Land, Ottawa, Illinois, Demonstration Project," Technical Report EL-80-7, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.

    • Perrier, E., Liopis, J., and Spaine, P. (1980.) "Area Strip Mine Reclamation Using Dredged Material A Field Demonstration," Technical Report EL-80-4, U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.

    • Spaine, P. A., Liopis, J. L., and Perrier, E. R. (1978.) "Guidance for Land Improvement Using Dredged Material Synthesis Report," Technical Report DS-78-21, U.S. Army Engineer Research Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.

    Case Studies

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Updated May 2016