Get access

Field-Scale Investigation of Infiltration Into a Compacted Soil Liner

Authors

  • Samuel V. Panno,

    1. Illinois State Geological Survey, Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Samuel V. Panno has been an Associate Geochemist with the Illinois State Geological Survey since 1988, and received a B.S. in Geology from Oregon State University and an M.S. in Geology from Southern Illinois University. Prior to joining the ISGS, Panno worked as a Geochemist with Rogers and Associates Engineering Corporation, and an Associate Geochemist with Brookhaven National Laboratory. He is a Certified Ground-Water Professional (#273).

  • Beverly L. Herzog,

    1. Illinois State Geological Survey, Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Beverly L. Herzog is a Senior Hydrogeologist and Head of the Groundwater Resources Section of the Illinois State Geological Survey. She received an M.S. in Hydrology from Stanford University in 1978. Herzog joined the staff of the Geological Survey in 1980, after working in a consulting firm. Her research interests include landfill design and ground-water monitoring. Herzog has been a member of NWWA since 1978 and served on the Editorial Board of Ground Water from 1985-1990 and currently serves on the Editorial Board of Ground Water Monitoring Review. She is a Certified Ground-Water Professional (#257) and a Certified Professional Geologist (#7628).

  • Keros Cartwright,

    1. Illinois State Geological Survey, Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Keros Cartwright received his Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Since 1988 he has been Head of the Hydrogeology Research Laboratory at the Illinois State Geological Survey. Prior to this position, Cartwright spent four years as Principal Geologist and Head of the General and Environmental Geology Group at the Survey, and 23 years conducting research at the ISGS. During this time, Cartwright spent 12 years as Head of the Groundwater Section. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Geology at both the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

  • Kenneth R. Rehfeldt,

    1. Illinois State Water Survey, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Kenneth R. Rehfeldt is a Hydrogeologist and Director of the Office of Ground-Water Quality and Contamination at the Illinois State Water Survey. He received a B.A. in Geological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, an M. S. in Hydrology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from M.I.T. He has several years experience in design of regional water quality monitoring networks, evaluation of radioactive waste disposal sites, geostatistical analyses of ground-water systems, and application of a vertical-borehole flow meter for measuring hydraulic conductivity variability.

  • Ivan G. Krapac,

    1. Illinois State Geological Survey, Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Ivan G. Krapac received a B.S. degree in Biology/Chemistry andan M.S. in Soil Chemistry from the University of Illinois. He is a Staff Geochemist at the Illinois State Geological Survey. His research interests include the movement of water and solutes through soilliner systems and the land disposalof municipalsolid waste incinerator ash.

  • Bruce R. Hensel

    1. Illinois State Geological Survey, Natural Resources Building, 615 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820.
    Search for more papers by this author
    • Bruce R. Hensel is an Associate Geologist in the Hydrogeology Research Laboratory at the Illinois Stare Geological Survey. He received a B.S. degree in Geology in 1982, and an M.S. degree in Hydrogeology in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. His research interests include computer modeling of ground-water flow, ground-water flow through fine-grained materials, and ground-water/surface-water interactions at wetlands.


  • Discussion open until May 1, 1992.

Abstract

Little field-scale research has been done to evaluate the effectiveness of compacted soil barriers in retarding the movement of water and leachates. In response to this need, the Illinois State Geological Survey constructed and instrumented an experimental compacted soil liner. Infiltration of water into the liner has been monitored for two years. The objectives of this investigation were to determine whether a soil liner could be constructed to meet the U.S. EPA's requirement for a saturated hydraulic conductivity of less than or equal to 1.0×10−7 cm/s, to quantify the areal variability of the hydraulic properties of the liner, and to determine the transit time for water and tracers through the liner.

The liner measures 8 m×15 m×0.9 m and was designed and constructed to simulate compacted soil liners built at waste disposal facilities. The surface of the liner was flooded to form a pond on April 12, 1988. Since flooding, infiltration has been monitored with four large-ring (LR) and 32 small-ring (SR) infiltrometers, and a water-balance (WB) method that accounted for total infiltration and evaporation. Ring-infiltrometer and WB data were analyzed using cumulative-infiltration curves to determine infiltration fluxes. The SR data are lognormally distributed, and the SR and LR data form two statistically distinct populations. Small-ring data are nearly identical with WB data; because there is evidence of leakage in the LRs, the SR and WB data are considered more reliable.

Geostatistical analysis of the SR infiltration data revealed that the infiltration-flux data were unstructured (random) at scales greater than 0.8 m. This analysis shows that it is possible to construct a compacted soil liner with a uniformly low saturated hydraulic conductivity, and that classical statistics should adequately estimate the mean infiltration flux of the liner and the associated uncertainty in that value.

Saturated hydraulic conductivity of the liner was estimated using Darcy's Law and the Green-Ampt Approximation; the average values for these calculations, based on the first and second years of SR data, were 4.0×10−8 and 3.4×10−8 cm/s, respectively. Breakthrough of water at the liner's bottom is expected to occur approximately six years after the initial ponding of the liner.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary