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The geologic stability, beneficial sediment properties, and remoteness of some deep ocean regimes provide alternatives to land-based options for disposal of toxic wastes. A brief discussion of the various geologic regimes, sediment types, and physiochemical properties is presented. An overview of various emplacement methods, natural seabed processes, geotechnical data acquisition and testing systems, and pertinent geotechnical considerations is also presented. For buried containerized hazardous substances, the sediment forms the geologic barrier between the waste and the biosphere. Geotechnical parameters such as shear strength, permeability, and the sediment-waste package interactions need to be considered. For solid high-level nuclear wastes, the effects of high-induced temperatures and radiation are important. In addition to downslope sediment processes, erosion, and faulting, it is important to assess the state of stresses within the sediment mass with particular concern for possible excess pore pressures. These and other related effects need to be incorporated in analytical waste migration models. Other aspects such as in situ testing and monitoring, laboratory physical modeling, and field experiments are discussed.
deep ocean sediments, toxic wastes, nuclear wastes, down slope processes, sampling, in situ testing, geotechnical properties, permeability, consolidation, stress-strain properties, strength, marine geotechnics
Chairman of Ocean Engineering and director of Marine Geomechanics Laboratory, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, RI