Theoretical investigation of the effects of consolidation on contaminant transport through clay barriers

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doi: 10.1002/nag.708
Authors:Lewis, T. W.; Pivonka, P.; Smith, D. W.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
University of Newcastle, School of Engineering, Callaghan, N.S.W., Australia
Other:
University of Melbourne, Australia
Volume Title:International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Source:International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics, 33(1), p.95-116. Publisher: Wiley & Sons, Chichester, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0363-9061
Publication Date:2009
Note:In English. Includes appendices. 36 refs.; illus., incl. 3 tables
Summary:Consolidation of clayey contaminant barriers such as landfill liners has been postulated as a cause of early breakthrough of contaminants. In this paper we theoretically investigate this proposition. For this purpose a sophisticated one-dimensional, large-deformation model of coupled mechanical consolidation and solute transport is employed. This new model is a generalization of existing coupled consolidation and solute transport models described in the literature. It takes into account both non-linearities in geometry as well as constitutive relations. The latter relate the compressibility, hydraulic conductivity and coefficient of effective diffusivity to the deformation of the soil. The model is applied to a case study of a clay liner and geomembrane system. Results obtained from numerical solution of the model equations are compared with those from various simplified models, including a "diffusion only" (i.e., a rigid soil) model traditionally used in contaminant barrier design. For barriers incorporating low compressibility soils (as for many well compacted clays), there is little difference between contaminant transit (i.e., breakthrough) times predicted by the two models. However, for contaminant barriers incorporating more compressible soils, consolidation is shown to significantly accelerate transport. These results indicate the potential importance of accounting for the effects of soil consolidation and highlight the limitations of existing models when modeling solute transport through composite barriers utilizing soft soils. Based on these limited results, we suggest a possible way of taking into account soil consolidation using simplified models.
Subjects:Boundary conditions; Clastic sediments; Clay; Compressibility; Consolidation; Deformation; Design; Disposal barriers; Equations; Hydraulic conductivity; Landfills; Leachate; Models; Permeability; Pollutants; Pollution; Pore pressure; Porosity; Porous materials; Sediments; Simulation; Soil mechanics; Solutes; Transport; Waste disposal
Record ID:2009034090
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, United Kingdom
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