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Information is needed concerning the long-term effects of brine on the permeability of clay linings for salt-gradient solar and salt evaporation ponds. A case history is presented for the soil lining at Anderson Lake, New Mexico, which was operated as a brine evaporation pond from 1963 to 1976. The soil lining was sampled and tested in March 1982. At that time, the brine level was below the deposited salt surface and near the top of the lined area in the lake. From a comparison of the 1982 tests on the lining and preconstruction tests in 1962, the soil density appears to have increased slightly since lining construction, possibly due to effects of the brine on the soil. From approximate measurements of the drop in brine surface in 1982, the seepage through the lining appeared to be very low and was approximately one order of magnitude below the seepage determined during the first year of pond operation.
earth linings, seepage, brine disposal, evaporation reservoirs, soil tests, salt-gradient solar ponds
Soils engineering technical specialist, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, CO