Effect of artificial soil compaction in landfill capping systems on anisotropy of air-permeability
Steffen Beck-Broichsitter (1), Heiner Fleige (2), Horst H. Gerke (1), and Rainer Horn (2)
(1) Research Area 1 ‘‘Landscape Functioning’’, Working Group ‘‘Hydropedology’’, Leibniz Centre of Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF),Germany
(2) Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, Kiel University, Germany
Soil air permeability is an important parameter which governs the aeration in soils that significantly promotes the root growth of field and grassland species and leads, in turn, to higher levels of evapotranspiration. The German Landfill Directive (2009) requires a rigid or a minimal shrinking capping system that ensures a high evapotranspiration rate to decrease the infiltration rate through the underlying waste body and therefore the leachate generation. This research is focussed on the questions if compacted glacial till can ensure the required rigidity and if and how air permeability is affected by soil compaction.
The objective was to compare air-filled porosity and the direction-dependency of air permeability of a capping soil when assuming rigid and non-rigid conditions considering a shrinkage factor. Intact soil cores were sampled in vertical and horizontal direction in 0.05, 0.2, 0.5, and 0.8 m depths at two profiles of a mineral landfill capping system at the Rastorf landfill in Northern Germany. Desiccation experiments were carried out on differently-compacted soils and soil shrinkage was measured with a 3D laser triangulation device, while the air permeability was estimated with an air flow meter.
The results indicate that the ‘‘engineered’’ soil structure which was predominately platy due to a layered installation, led to a more anisotropic behaviour and therefore to higher air permeability in horizontal than in vertical direction. The compacted installation of the capping system seems to be effective and observes the statutory required more-or-less rigid system, otherwise, soil shrinkage would lead to vertical cracks and a more pronounced isotropic behaviour.
J. Plant Nutr. Soil Sci. 2020, 000, 1–11 DOI: 10.1002/jpln.201900281