Monitoring the Fresh Kills Landfill (Available in the Geoenvironmental Special Section only)

by Thomas G. Thomann, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Proj. Mgr.; URS Corp., New York, NY,
Majed A. Khoury, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Prin.; URS Corp., New York, NY,
Aaron D. Goldberg, P.E., (M.ASCE), Proj. Engr.; URS Corp., New York, NY,
Richard A. Napolitano, P.E., (M.ASCE), Sr. Proj. Mgr.; New York City Dept. of Sanitation, New York, NY,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2000, Vol. 70, Issue 10, Pg. A2-A9

Document Type: Feature article


A unique system has been developed to assess the stability of the Fresh Kills Landfill, in New York City, using more than 260 geotechnical instruments and automatic processes. The system enables the engineer or operator at the landfill to make speedier and less cumbersome assessments of changes that might indicate instability during ongoing filling operations. The instruments measure pore pressures in the cohesive foundations soils, the sand layers, and the refuse fill; vertical and horizontal deformations of the refuse fill and the foundation soils; and the temperature within the refuse fill. Measurements from the instruments are obtained automatically or manually on a regular basis and stored in data management computer programs that convert the raw readings into meaningful values. A report is then prepared that graphs the results, primarily as a function of time, for each instrument monitoring slope stability at the landfill. Key measurements determine the level of action that is associated with certain stability conditions at each instrumented profile. These action levels provide a relatively straightforward and frequent means of informing the landfill engineer or operator of the stability conditions so that grading plans and ongoing landfilling operations can be adjusted.

Subject Headings: Landfills | Soil pressure | Soil deformation | Fills | Temperature measurement | Layered soils | Foundations

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