Landfill covers are designed as impermeable caps on top of waste containment facilities after the completion of landfill operations. Geocomposite drain (GD) materials consist of a geonet or geospacer (as a drainage core) sandwiched between non-woven geotextiles that act as separators and filters. GD provides a drainage function as part of the cover system. The stability performance of landfill cover system is largely controlled by the interface shear strength mobilised between the elements of the cover. If a GD is used, the interface shear strength properties between the upper surface of the GD and the overlying soil may govern stability of the system. It is not uncommon for fine grained materials to be used as cover soils. In these cases, understanding soil softening issues at the soil interface with the non-woven geotextile is important. Such softening can be caused by capillary break behaviour and build-up of water pressures from the toe of the drain upwards into the cover soil. The interaction processes to allow water flow into a GD core through the soil-geotextile interface is very complex, and have been defined herein as Capillary Related Interface Breakthrough (CRIB).
The infiltration test using small column on CRIB conditions for GD in contact with fine grained soils confirmed the development of capillary break at the interface. The effect of water build-up on the interface leads to soil softening in fine grained soils layer and reduce the interface shear strength hence potential instability of the system. Two series of fine grained soil/GD interface shear strength tests conducted to determine the interface shear strength behaviour for a range of soil water contents. The soil softening at the interface due to soaked behaviour show a reduction in interface shear strength and this aspect should be emphasized in design specifications and construction control. Comparison on the main behaviour using field measurements on the trial landfill cover at Bletchley were conducted to increase confidence in the understanding of the implications for design of cover systems.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia and National Defense University of Malaysia