Shrinkage Characteristics of Boulder Marl as Sustainable Mineral Liner Material for Landfill Capping Systems

The soil shrinkage behavior of mineral substrates needs to be considered for engineering long-term durable mineral liners of landfill capping systems. For this purpose, a novel three-dimensional laser scanning device was coupled with (a) a mathematical-empirical model and (b) in-situ tensiometer measurements as a combined approach to simultaneously determine the shrinkage behavior of a boulder marl, installed as top and bottom liner material at the Rastorf landfill (Northern Germany). The shrinkage behavior, intensity, and geometry were determined during a drying experiment with undisturbed soil cores (100 cm 3 ) from two soil pits; the actual in-situ shrinkage was also determined in 0.2, 0.5, 0.8, and 1.0 m depth by pressure transducer tensiometer measurements during a four-year period. The volume shrinkage index was used to describe the pore size dependent shrinkage tendency and it was classified as low (4.9%) for the bottom liner. The in-situ matric potentials in the bottom liner ranged between −100 and −150 hPa, even during drier periods, thus, the previously highest observed drying range (pre-shrinkage stress) with values below −500 hPa and −1000 hPa was not exceeded. Therefore, the hydraulic stability of the bottom liner was given.


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