Progression of Elevated Temperatures in MSW Landfills

Navid H. Jafari, Timothy D. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Elevated temperatures in municipal solid waste landfills can pose health, environmental, and safety risks because they can generate excessive gases, liquids, pressures, and heat that can damage landfill infrastructure. This paper discusses mechanisms that can lead to elevated temperatures in the landfill and presents a case history to establish trends in gas composition, leachate collection, settlement, and slope movement. In general, landfill gas composition changes from predominantly methane (50-60% v/v) and carbon dioxide (40-55% v/v) to a composition of carbon dioxide (60-80% v/v), hydrogen (10-35% v/v), and carbon monoxide (> 1,500 ppmv) as temperature elevate. As waste temperatures increase, gas and leachate pressures also increase, resulting in odors, leachate outbreaks, and potential slope instability. These observations are summarized in a progression of elevated temperature indicators that are related to field manifestations and possible remedial measures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue number271 GSP
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
Event3rd Geo-Chicago Conference: Sustainable Geoenvironmental Systems, Geo-Chicago 2016 - Chicago, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2016Aug 18 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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