Analysis of Unsaturated Flow Beneath a Landfill

by Vedat Batu, NUS Corp, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,
Jimmy Ho, NUS Corp, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,
Joseph G. Yeasted, NUS Corp, Pittsburgh, PA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computer Applications in Water Resources


Using the linearized theory of flow in unsaturated porous media, a mathematical model was developed to study the distribution and extent of unsaturated flow from a source of infiltration at the soil surface. Analytical solutions are provided for infiltration beneath an idealized landfill, and the results are analyzed to deterine the limits of the unsaturated flow domain and the fraction of the total infiltrating flow that passes beyond the vertical projection of the landfill. The results indicate that the flow dispersion caused by capillary effects in the unsaturated zone can be significant. The model can be used to quantitatively assess the potential significance of unsaturated flow distribution when applying and interpreting the results of saturated flow models.

Subject Headings: Unsaturated flow | Mathematical models | Landfills | Mathematics | Infiltration | Water resources | Soil analysis

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