Water Movement Through an Experimental Soil Liner

I. G. Krapac, K. Cartwright, S. V. Panno, B. R. Hensel, K. R. Rehfeldt, B. L. Herzog

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A field-scale soil liner was constructed to test whether compacted soil barriers in cover and liner systems could be built to meet the U.S. EPA saturated hydraulic conductivity requirement (≤ 1 × 10-7 cm s-1). The 8 × 15 × 0.9 m liner was constructed in 15 cm compacted lifts using a 20,037 kg pad-foot compactor and standard engineering practices. Water infiltration into the liner has been monitored for one year. Monitoring will continue until water break through at the base of the liner occurs. Estimated saturated hydraulic conductivities were 2.5 × 10-9, 4.0 × 10-8, and 5.0 × 10-8 cm s-1 based on measurements of water infiltration into the liner by large-and small-ring infiltrometers and a water balance analysis, respectively. Also investigated in this research was the variability of the liner's hydraulic properties and estimates of the transit times for water and tracers. Small variances exhibited by small-ring flux data suggested that the liner was homogeneous with respect to infiltration fluxes. The predictions of water and tracer breakthrough at the base of the liner ranged from 2.4-12.6 y, depending on the method of calculation and assumptions made. The liner appeared to be saturated to a depth between 18 and 33 cm at the end of the first year of monitoring. Transit time calculations cannot be verified yet, since breakthrough has not occurred. The work conducted so far indicates that compacted soil barriers can be constructed to meet the saturated hydraulic conductivity requirement established by the U.S. EPA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalWaste Management & Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1991


  • Soil barriers
  • U.S.A
  • hydraulic conductivity
  • liners
  • transit time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Water Movement Through an Experimental Soil Liner'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this