Soil-Bentonite Slurry Trench Cutoffs

by David J. D'Appolonia, (Aff.M.ASCE), Pres.; Engineered Construction International, Inc., Pittsburgh, Pa.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 4, Pg. 399-417

Document Type: Journal Paper


Soil-bentonite cutoff walls constructed by slurry trench methods have been employed for about 3 decades. Soil-bentonite cutoff walls are constructed by excavating a continuous narrow trench under a bentonite slurry that stabilizes the excavation. The trench is backfilled subsequently with a blend of natural soil and bentonite, thereby displacing the slurry. The completed wall acts as a barrier to lateral flow of water and most fluid pollutants. Presented are the results of various investigations made to determine the design factors relating to permeability, compressibility, and strength properties of cutoff walls. These properties are related to the composition of the backfill materials and construction methods. Data are presented on the ability of slurry trench cutoff walls to maintain their integrity under the effect of long-term permeation by various pollutants. Recommendations are made for writing specifications that will achieve required performance at the lowest cost.

Subject Headings: Core walls | Slurry walls | Slurries | Trenches | Bentonite | Backfills | Fluid flow | Compressive strength

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