Design and Performance of Earth-Lined Containment Systems

by Richard E. Oakley, III, Browning-Ferris Industries, Houston, TX, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Geotechnical Practice for Waste Disposal '87


Engineers have been designing and constructing earthen containment structures for many tens of years. These structures have historically been embankment dams, petroleum storage impoundments, and water reservoirs. Recent emphasis has been on the design of containment structures for waste storage or disposal. Increasing levels of environmental consciousness and case-histories of failures of earthlined structures has brought this seemingly straight-forward subject under close scrutiny. Engineers have traditionally relied on the relationships between the soil-properties of density, moisture content, and permeability (hydraulic conductivity) to design and construct compacted earth liners. Recent developments have shown that consideration of these factors alone will not guarantee a satisfactory containment structure. Other factors such as foundation conditions, macro-structure features, soil fabric, mineralogical composition, fluid removal and collection efficiency, compactive effort and weathering should also be considered.

Subject Headings: Compacted soils | Soil pollution | Embankment dams | Hydraulic design | Waste storage | Permeability (soil) | Water pollution | Waste disposal

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