Pilot forecast modelling for hydraulic performance of waste containment barriers

Modern landfills generally require a layer of compacted clay in order to isolate contaminants from the surrounding environment and minimise the escape of leachate (a liquid that has passed through a permeable and contaminated substance). While the short-term hydraulic performance of these sites is well known, their long-term hydraulic performance is not. With highly erratic weather patterns affecting the moisture content of the earth structures, it is believed that compacted clay layers can become highly vulnerable and their hydraulic performance unstable.

Dr Ahmad Mousa, Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at Monash University and Dr Gary Fowmes, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Warwick will address this issue by looking at developing a framework to forecast the hydraulic performance of engineered waste containment barriers under different weather patterns. The international research team will provide expertise in the experimental evaluation of internal erosion, the performance of waste containment facilities and probable quantification of georisk. This joint effort will enable both universities to strategically position themselves at the forefront of research addressing hydraulic instability and the long-performance of earth structures, as well as provide an opportunity for collaboration and synergy between a current Monash PhD student and second year Warwick PhD student.

The outcomes of the project will greatly enhance the likelihood of the future development of these facilities and equally place the team to pursue further research funding in this critical area. This collaboration effort can expand the knowledge in hydraulic performance prediction to earth structures especially barrier systems.

Principle applicants

Laura Jobson

Dr Ahmad Mousa

Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University

Kimberley Wade

Dr Gary Fowmes

Associate Professor, Faculty of Engineering, University of Warwick

Co-applicants

Dr Susilawati Susilawati, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University

Dr Hamidreza Namazi, Faculty of Engineering, Monash University

Dr Mohad M Nezhad, Faculty of Engineering, University of Warwick