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Toxics Program Remediation Activities

Alternative Landfill Cover Assessment

Type
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Site Characterization
Location Fort Carson, CO
Partners
Technology Vegetative Landfill Cover
Contaminants Landfill Leachate
Description

USGS scientist installing a thermocouple psychrometer during a study to assess the hydrologic performance of an evapotranspiration landfill cover at the U.S. Army Fort Carson military base, Colorado Springs, Colorado Photograph by P.E. McGuire, Earth Tech, September 2000

USGS scientist installing a thermocouple psychrometer at the U.S. Army Fort Carson military base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Photograph by P.E. McGuire, Earth Tech, September 2000
(Click on image to enlarge)

Soil-water measurement technology developed for dry-soil investigations at the Amargosa Desert Research Site is being used by USGS and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) scientists to assess the hydrologic performance of an evapotranspiration landfill cover at the U.S. Army Fort Carson military base, Colorado Springs, Colorado. The evapotranspiration landfill cover uses plants to control and prevent the downward movement of water. The soil-water measurement techniques provide a means to assess the performance of unconventional landfill covers that can be constructed at a considerably lower cost than conventional covers. USGS assistance to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and their contractor has included calibration, installation, and instruction on the use of instruments. Monitoring equipment used during the study included drainage lysimeters (3 locations), neutron activation probes (8 locations), and thermocouple psychrometers (8 locations). USGS is continuing to provide technical assistance through the review and interpretation of field data.

A paper on this project, Evapotranspiration cover for containment at U.S. Army Fort Carson landfill site, was presented at the 30th Environmental and Energy Symposium and Exhibition, Session Twelve, San Diego, California, April 5-8, 2004. The paper received Earth Tech’s 2004 President’s Award for Technical Excellence—Best Environmental Paper Presented at a Technical Conference (Gold Award).

More Information
Contact Brian Andraski, USGS, Nevada Water Science Center, Carson City, Nevada,
Publications

McGuire, P.E., Andraski, B.J., and Archibald, R., 2009, Case study of a full-scale evapotranspiration cover: Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, v. 135, no. 3, p. 316-332, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)1090-0241(2009)135:3(316).

McGuire, P.E., Moses, D., and Andraski, B.J., 2004, Evapotranspiration cover for containment at U.S. Army Fort Carson landfill site, in 30th Environmental and Energy Symposium and Exhibition, Session Twelve, San Diego, California, April 5-8, 2004: National Defense Industrial Association, a 24-page PowerPoint Presentation.

The following are publications related to waste disposal in arid environments.

Andraski, B.J., 1991, Balloon and core sampling for determining bulk density of an alluvial desert soil: Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 55, no. 4, p. 1188-1190.

Andraski, B.J., 1996, Properties and variability of soil and trench fill at an arid waste-burial site: Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 60, no. 1, p. 54-66.

Andraski, B.J., and Prudic, D.E., 1997, Soil, plant, and structural considerations for surface barriers in arid environments--Application of results from studies in the Mojave Desert near Beatty, Nevada, in Barrier Technologies for Environmental Management, Summary of a workshop: Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, p. 68-78.

Andraski, B.J., 1997, Soil-water movement under natural-site and waste-site conditions--A multiple-year field study in the Mojave Desert, Nevada: Water Resources Research, v. 33, no. 9, p. 1901-1916, 97WR01502, doi:10.1029/97WR01502.

Andraski, B.J., Prudic, D.E., and Nichols, W.D., 1995, Waste burial in arid environments--Application of information from a field laboratory in the Mojave Desert, southern Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet FS-179-95, 4 p.

Andraski, B.J., and Stonestrom, D.A., 1999, Overview of research on water, gas, and radionuclide transport at the Amargosa Desert Research Site, Nevada, in Morganwalp, D.W., and Buxton, H.T., eds., U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program--Proceedings of the Technical Meeting, Charleston, South Carolina, March 8-12, 1999--Volume 3 of 3--Subsurface Contamination from Point Sources: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 99-4018C, p. 459-465.

Fischer, J.M., 1992, Sediment properties and water movement through shallow unsaturated alluvium at an arid site for disposal of low-level radioactive waste near Beatty, Nye County, Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 92-4032, 48 p.

Gee, G.W., Wierenga, P.J., Andraski, B.J., Young, M.H., Fayer, M.J., and Rockhold, M.L., 1994, Variations in water balance and recharge potential at three western desert sites: Soil Science Society of America Journal, v. 58, no. 1, p. 63-72.

Prudic, D.E., 1994, Estimates of percolation rates and ages of water in unsaturated sediments at two Mojave Desert sites, California-Nevada: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 94-4160, 19 p.

Walvoord, M.A., Phillips, F.M., Tyler, S.W., and Hartsough, P.C., 2002, Deep arid system hydrodynamics--2, Application to paleohydrologic reconstruction using vadose zone profiles from the northern Mojave Desert: Water Resources Research, v. 38, no. 12, p. 27-1 to 27-12, 2001WR000825, doi:10.1029/2001WR000825.

Walvoord, M.A., Plummer, M.A., Phillips, F.M., and Wolfsberg, A.V., 2002, Deep arid system hydrodynamics--1, Equilibrium states and response times in thick desert vadose zones: Water Resources Research, v. 38, no. 12, p. 44-1 to 44-15, 2001WR000824, doi:10.1029/2001WR000824.

Walvoord, M.A., Stonestrom, D.A., and Phillips, F.M., 2002, From multi-year observations to millennial inferences--Uncertainties in paleohydrologic reconstructions of deep unsaturated zones in the desert southwest, U.S.A.: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, v. 83, no. 47, Fall Meeting Supplement, Abstract H22F-07, CD-ROM.

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