Effect of bentonite migration in geosynthetic clay liners on contaminant transport

T. D. Stark, H. Choi, R. Akhtarshad

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Since the introduction of geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) to waste containment facilities, one of the major concerns about their use has been the hydraulic equivalency to a compacted clay liner as required by regulations. Laboratory test results and more recently field observations show that the thickness, or mass per unit area, of hydrated bentonite in a GCL can decrease under normal stress, especially around zones of stress concentration or nonuniform stresses, such as a rock or roughness in the subgrade, a leachate sump, or wrinkles in an overlying geomembrane. This paper describes the effect of bentonite migration on the hydraulic equivalence between a GCL and GCL and the contaminant transport through a thinned GCL. Finally, the paper presents suggestions for protecting hydrated bentonite from stress concentrations and reducing contaminant transport through a GCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3233-3247
Number of pages15
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number130-142
StatePublished - 2005
EventGeo-Frontiers 2005 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 24 2005Jan 26 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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