Clay membrane made of natural high plasticity clay: Leachate migration due to advection and diffusion

Niels Foged, Jens Baumann

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    Leachate containment in Denmark has throughout the years been regulated by the DIF Recommendation for Sanitary Landfill Liners (DS/R4669. It states that natural clay deposits may be used as membrane material provided the membrane and drainage system contains at least 95% of all leachate created throughout the lifetime of the landfill. Presently, the recommendation is under revision partly because this clause was considered to be unsufficient for securing the drinking water quality in underlying aquifers - a necessary containment of at least 99% is foreseeen. The revision should consequently take into account advective ion transport as well as diffusion. Clay prospecting for clays rich in smectite has revealed large deposits of Tertiary clay of very high plasticity in the area around Rødbyhavn on the Danish island of Lolland. The natural clay contains 60-75% smectite, dominantly as a sodium-type. The clay material has been evaluated using the standardized methods related to mineralogy, classification, compaction and permeability, and initial studies of diffusion properties have been carried out. Furthermore, at a test site the construction methods for establishing a 0.15-0.3 m thick clay membrane have been tested successfully. At a natural water content of w=40-45% it is possible to establish a homogeneous membrane with hydraulic conductivity k
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEngineering Geology
    Issue number1-2
    Pages (from-to)129-137
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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