Characterizing a Brazilian sanitary landfill using geophysical seismic techniques


Two different geophysical techniques, namely crosshole and multichannel analysis of surface waves
– MASW, were applied to investigate the mechanical response of Municipal Solid Waste buried under
humid, subtropical climate. Direct investigations revealed that the buried waste was composed mainly
of soil-like material (51%) and plastics (31%) with moisture content average values of 43% near the surface
and 53% after around 11 m depth. Unit weight varied between 9 kN/m3 and 15 kN/m3. Seismic investigation
of the landfill yielded shear wave velocities (VS) estimated from the crosshole tests ranging from 92
to 214 m/s, while compression wave velocities (VP) ranged from 197 to 451 m/s. Both velocities were
influenced by vertical confining stress and thus tended to increase with depth. VS calculated from
MASW tests were lower than the ones calculated from the crosshole tests, probably due to the different
frequencies used in the tests. The results of both methods tended to configure a lower bound to the values reported in the technical literature in general, as expected for low compaction waste with small amounts of cover soil. Although VS did not show abrupt changes with depth, VP profile distribution combined with
direct investigations results, such as temperature, in-place unit weight and moisture content, suggest that the waste body could be divided into two strata. The lower one is poorly drained and shows higher moisture content, as a consequence of the operational techniques used in the first years, while the upper stratum is probably related to a better drained waste stratum, resulting from the improvement of operational standards and increase in drainage facilities throughout the years.

ABREU, Ana Elisa Silva de; GANDOLFO, Otávio Coaracy Brasil; VILAR, Orencio Monje. Characterizing a Brazilian sanitary landfill using geophysical seismic techniques. Waste Management, v.53, p.116-127, 2016.

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