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The design and testing of a compacted clay barrier layer to restrict vertical percolation through landfill covers is discussed. General relationships between compaction water content, dry unit weight, and permeability related to changes in soil fabric due to varying compaction conditions are reviewed. Laboratory testing programs to evaluate the degree of imperviousness capable of being achieved in the field for a given soil type are outlined, and a case study of the design and testing of a compacted clay barrier over a landfill is presented. Based on the results of the laboratory testing program prior to construction, it was determined that a design permeability of from 1 to 5 × 10−8 cm/s could be achieved by controlling the minimum dry unit weight to greater than 95% of the standard Proctor dry density and the compaction water content to greater than 1% wet of the line of optimums. Results of laboratory permeability testing on undisturbed ring and block samples taken from the landfill barrier layer indicated that an average permeability of 2 × 10−8 cm/s had been achieved.
permeability, seepage, landfill, leachate generation, compacted clay, compaction water content, dry unit weight, compactive effort, line of optimums, laboratory testing, design methods
Environmental research associate, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
Vice president, Engineering, ATEC Associates, Dallas, TX