Postprint version. Published in Advances in Unsaturated Geotechnics (GSP 99), January 1, 2000, pages 555-568. Copyright © 2000 American Society of Civil Engineers. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/40510(287)37.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Nazli Yesiller was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
Tests were conducted to determine the variation in volumetric water content and pore water suction for a variety of compacted clay soils used in the construction of landfill liners. The fit of the experimental data to an existing parametric model was investigated for two different fitting techniques. The first technique involves the use of the retention curve computer program (RETC) developed for the U.S. EPA. The second technique employs the Solver subroutine included in Microsoft Excel. The parametric models resulting from either technique correlated well to the experimental data. However, the individual curve fit parameters varied significantly. The effect of these variations on the unsaturated behavior of compacted clay liners was evaluated using the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) model. The curve fit parameters resulting from both the RETC and the Solver techniques were used as input to the HELP routine for simulation of variably saturated flow through a cover liner. There were no significant differences in the volume of leakage or rate of leakage predicted using the input from the two curve-fitting techniques. However, there was significant soil-dependent variation in the HELP output. Examination of the HELP output provides information regarding variation in the volumetric water content of the cover liner soil. This information can be used to predict pore water suction variations and susceptibility to desiccation cracking.
Civil and Environmental Engineering