Landfill cap models under simulated climate change precipitation: Impacts of cracks and root growth

Gowthaman Sinnathamby, Debra Phillips, Vinayagamoothy Sivakumar, Andras Paksy

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    18 Citations (Scopus)
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    Desiccation crack formation is a key process that needs to be understood in assessment of landfill cap performance under anticipated future climate change scenarios. The objectives of this study were to examine: (a) desiccation cracks and impacts that roots may have on their formation and resealing, and (b) their impacts on hydraulic conductivity under anticipated climate change precipitation scenarios. Visual observations, image analysis of thin sections and hydraulic conductivity tests were carried out on cores collected from two large-scale laboratory trial landfill cap models (∼80 × 80 × 90 cm) during a year of four simulated seasonal precipitation events. Extensive root growth in the topsoil increased percolation of water into the subsurface, and after droughts, roots grew deep into low-permeability layers through major cracks which impeded their resealing. At the end of 1 year, larger cracks had lost resealing ability and one single, large, vertical crack made the climate change precipitation model cap inefficient. Even though the normal precipitation model had developed desiccation cracks, its integrity was preserved better than the climate change precipitation model.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)95-107
    Number of pages13
    Issue number2
    Early online date01 Dec 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Engineering(all)
    • Environmental Science(all)

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  • Impacts

    Reducing transport of radionuclides into the environment

    Debra Phillips (Participant)

    Impact: Environmental Impact, Health Impact

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