Geophysical Applications to Solid Waste Analysis

Publication Abstract:

Case studies of regional landfills show that electromagnetic geophysical methods can accurately and inexpensively define boundaries and thickness of waste. Degradation of putrescible solid waste generates conductive leachate that can be imaged with a frequency-domain terrain conductivity meter. Terrain conductivity measurements can be modified through a simple algorithm based upon native soil conductivity to produce plan maps showing a detailed three-dimensional image of the waste mass. Further, seismic records and borings confirm that a linear relationship exists between measured waste terrain conductance and thickness of waste. Consequently, waste volume can be estimated to within 15% of the true mass volume by employing terrain conductivity mapping.

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