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Geotechnical Aspects of Landfill Design and Construction


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Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter concludes with Problems and References.)

1. Introduction.
Need for Landfills. Principal Landfill Requirements. Landfill Components and Configuration. Landfill Envelope. Composite Liners. Benefits of Double Composite Liners. Liner Linkage Mechanisms. Scope and Organization of Book.

2. Landfill Siting and Site Investigation.
Siting Considerations. Location Restrictions. Siting Process. Site Investigation. Borrow Source Investigation. Field Hydraulic Conductivity Tests. Material Laboratory Tests.

3. Compacted Clay Liners.
Overview Compacted Clay Liners. Compaction and Permeability Considerations. Design of Compacted Clay Liners. Influence of Clods on Hydraulic Conductivity. Effect of Gravel Content on Hydraulic Conductivity. Effect of Freezing and Thawing on Hydraulic Conductivity. Summary Comments Regarding Compacted Clay Liners.

4. Geomembranes.
Composition and Thickness of Geomembranes. Current Uses of Geomembranes in Landfills. Tensile Behavior of Geomembranes. Friction Behavior of Geomembranes. Tension Stresses Due to Unbalanced Friction Forces. Tension Stresses Due to Localized Subsidence. Runout and Anchor Trenches. Assessment of Leakage through Liners. Concluding Comments Regarding Geomembranes.

5. Geosynthetic Clay Liners.
Types and Current Uses of Geosynthetic Clay Liners. Hydraulic Conductivity. Ability to Withstand Differential Settlement. Shear Strength. Differences between Geosynthetic Clay Liners and Compacted Clay Liners. Contaminant Transport through Geosynthetic Clay Liner and Compacted Clay Liner. Comparison of Mass Transport through a GCL and CCL. Recommendations for Use of Geosynthetic Clay Liners. Summarizing Comments Regarding Geosynthetic Clay Liners.

6. Engineering Properties of Municipal Solid Waste.
Constituents of Municipal Solid Waste. Unit Weight of Municipal Solid Waste. Moisture Content of Municipal Solid Waste. Porosity of Municipal Solid Waste. Hydraulic Conductivity of Municipal Solid Waste. Field Capacity and Wilting Point of Municipal Solid Waste. Shear Strength of Municipal Solid Waste. Compressibility of Municipal Solid Waste.

7. Leachate Generation and Evaluation in MSW Landfills.
MSW Leachate Characterization. Factors Affecting Leachate Quantity. Estimation of Leachate Production Rate in an Active Condition. Estimation of Leachate Production Rate in a Postclosure Condition. Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model.

8. Liquid Drainage Layer.
Profile of Leachate Drainage Layer. Soil Drainage and Filtration Layer. Geotextile Design for Filtration. Geonet Design for Leachate Drainage. Estimate of Maximum Liquid Head in a Drainage Layer.

9. Leachate Collection and Removal Systems.
Subbase Grading. Leachate Collection Trenches. Selection of Leachate Collection Pipe. Deformation and Stability of Leachate Collection Pipe. Sump and Riser Pipes. Leachate Removal Pumps.

10. Gas Collection and Control Systems.
Gas Generation. Gas Composition. Factors Affecting Gas Generation. Gas Generation Rate. Gas Migration. Types and Components of Gas Collection Systems. Gas Control and Treatment. Design of Gas Collection System.

11. Final Cover System.
Components of Final Cover System. Alternative Landfill Cover. Field Study of Landfill Covers. Soil Erosion Control. Effects of Settlement and Subsidence. Differential Subsidence Case History.

12. Landfill Settlement.
Mechanism of Solid Waste Settlement. Effect of Daily Cover. Landfill Settlement Rate. Estimation of Landfill Settlement. Effect of Waste Settlement on Landfill Capacity. Other Methods for Estimating Landfill Settlement. Estimation of Landfill Foundation Settlement.

13. Landfill Stability Analysis.
Types of Landfill Failures. Factors Influencing Landfill Stability. Selection of Appropriate Properties. Veneer Slope Stability Analysis. Subsoil Foundation Failures. Waste Mass Failures. Concluding Remarks.

14. Vertical Landfill Expansions.
Considerations Involved in Vertical Expansions. Liner Systems for Vertical Expansion. Settlement of Existing Landfill. Estimation of Differential Settlement Due to Waste Heterogeneity. Vertical Expansion over Unlined Landfills. Design Considerations for Landfill Structures. Geosynthetic Reinforcement Design for Vertical Expansions. Stability Analysis for Vertical Expansion.

15. Bioreactor Landfills.
Introduction. Liquids Managements Strategies. Concepts of Waste Degradation. Leachate Recycling Methods. Bioreactor Landfill Issues and Concerns. Performance-to-Date. Summary Comments.

16. Construction of Compacted Clay Liners.
Subgrade Preparation. Soil Materials for Compacted Soil Lines. Compaction Objectives and Choices. Initial Saturation Specifications. Clay Liner Compaction Considerations. Compaction Specifications. Leachate Collection Trench Construction. Protection of Compacted Soil. Field Measurement of Water Content and Dry Unit Weight. Construction Quality Assurance and Quality Control Issues.

17. Installation of Geosynthetic Materials.
Material Delivery and Conformance Tests. Installation of Geomembranes. Installation of Geonets. Installation of Geotextiles. Installation of Geocompostes. Installation of Geosynthetic Clay Liners.

18. Postclosure Uses of MSW Landfills.
Athletic and Recreational Facilities. Industrial Development. Aesthetics. Concluding Remarks.

Appendix I. Help Model Input and Output-Active Condition.

Appendix II. Help Model Input and Output-Postclosure Condition.


About the Author

Xuede Qian is currently a statewide Geotechnical Engineering Specialist with the Waste Management Division, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in hydraulic and geotechnical engineering from Hohai University Nanjing, China, and the Ph.D. degree in geotechnical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is also an adjunct faculty member with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan, with responsibility for teaching a senior/graduate level course on landfill design and construction. He has been actively involved in landfill engineering research and has participated in many landfill design, construction, and remediation projects during the past decade. Dr. Qian has authored numerous technical papers in the geotechnical and geoenvironmental fields. His professional experiences include work for universities, regulatory agencies, and consulting firms. Robert M. Koerner is currently an H. L. Bowman Professor of Civil Engineering with Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Drexel University and the Ph.D. degree in geotechnical engineering from Duke University. He is an Honorary Member of the ASCE and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Koerner is the co-author of the first book on geotextiles and has authored or coauthored more than 300 papers on geosynthetics in major engineering journals and for national and international conference proceedings. His latest effort is the fourth edition of the textbook entitled Designing with Geosynthetics. As Director of the Geosynthetic Research Institute, his activities involve all aspects of waste disposal, but focus particularly on the liner and cover containment systems. Donald H. Gray is a Professor Emeritus of Civil and Environmental Engineering with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees and the Ph.D. degree in geological and civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. His areas of expertise include slope stability and erosion control, engineering properties of solid waste materials, the transport of leachate through landfill liners (under combined advection/diffusion), and containment strategies for landfilled wastes. He has authored numerous technical papers and lectured extensively at training workshops and short courses dealing with geotechnical aspects of waste disposal in the ground. He has served as the organizer and chairman of two ASCE specialty conferences on geotechnical engineering of land disposal. Dr. Gray is also the principal author of two well-regarded reference books on biotechnical and soil bioengineering slope stabilization.

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