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A STUDY ON DESICCATION INDUCED

CRACKING AND HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY


OF COMPACTED CLAY LINERS

Under The Guidance of


Dr. P. HARI KRISHNA
Presented By
B. Naga Sai
(131805)

Contents

Introduction
Literature review
Objectives
Methodology
Materials used
Tests and Results
Conclusions
References

Introduction
Improper disposal of waste is responsible for contamination of
geoenvironment.
Among various disposal methods like incineration, plasma
gasification etc., landfilling is considered to be safe and economical.
Production of highly contaminant leachate is the main drawback of
landfilling.
Leachate contaminated liquid waste percolating through deposited
waste which contains high concentrations of toxic chemicals
including heavy metals.
Heavy metals - refers to any metallic chemical element that has a
relatively high density and is poisonous even at low concentrations.

Components
of a
landfill

Specifications of a soil to meet liner criteria


Material Property

Threshold value

Percent gravel fraction (%)

< 30

Maximum particle size (mm)

25

Fines content (%)

> 30

Plasticity Index

> 10

Hydraulic conductivity (cm/s)

< 1 x 10-7

* Adopted from USEPA (1993) , Daniel (1993), Rowe et al. (1995)

Literature review :
C.J. Miller et al. (1998) conducted tests to investigate desiccation
cracking of three compacted liner soils. Surficial dimensions of
cracks were quantified using the crack intensity factor (CIF),
which is the ratio of the surface area of cracks to the total surface
area of a soil. It was observed that nearly 90% of the cracking
occurred in 19-hour time period.
Benson and Trast (1995) performed hydraulic conductivity tests
on thirteen compacted clays that are used as landfill liners
throughout the U.S. Hydraulic conductivity was not uniquely
related to any of the compositional variables, suggesting that a
single index property is not sufficient to estimate hydraulic
conductivity.

Literature review :
M.H.T.Rayhani et al. (2007) studied effect of desiccation
induced cracking on hydraulic conductivities of clayey soils
from Iran. The results showed that the dimension of cracks
increased with increasing plasticity index and clay content so
the initial hydraulic conductivity increased with increased
plasticity index and cycles of wetting and drying.
Tanit Chalermyanont et al. (2008) studied about the transport of
heavy metals through a compacted sand-bentonite mixture and
its chemical compatibility was studied through the batch
adsorption test and the hydraulic conductivity test. The
hydraulic conductivity increased when permeated with mixed
heavy metal solution.

Literature review :
Seracettin Arasan,2010 -reported that chemical solutions
tended to reduce the thickness of the DDL and flocculate the
clay particles, resulting in reduction of liquid limit, reduction
of swelling and increasing of hydraulic conductivity of Clay
liners.

OBJECTIVES:
The primary scope of the present study is to evaluate the
suitability of selected locally available soils as compacted
clay liners based on their Desiccation Crack Intensity
Factors (DCIF) and Hydraulic Conductivity (HC) values
with following objectives:
1. To study the influence of variation in compaction water
contents on the DCIF and HC values of soils.
2. To analyze the effect of pH and presence of heavy metals in
the leachate on both DCIF and HC values of soils.

METHODOLOGY
Evaluation of soils as a landfill liner material

3 types of soils
(Black cotton soil, Red earth
and Dumping yard Soil)

Single Heavy Metal Solution


and Synthetic Leachate

Mixed with different


pHs (5 and 10)

Desiccation
cracking

Hydraulic
Conductivity tests

Crack Intensity
Factor

Permeability

Best suitable soil

Properties of Soils:
G

Silt

Clay

LL

PL

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

(%)

Red Earth

27

41

26

38

21

17

Black
Cotton Soil

30

39

31

61

21

Dumping
Yard Soil

54

10

34

84

24

Parameter

PI

Classifcation

M.D.D

O.M.C

Free
Swell

(g/cc)

(%)

CI

1.8

19.7

40

CH

1.68

19.6

90

60

SC

1.77

17.5

240

(%)

Heavy metal solutions:


1. Single Heavy Metal Solution ( SHMS)
Nickel Nitrate { Ni(NO3)2 6H2O } of 50ppm.
2. Multi Heavy Metal Solution (MHMS or synthetic leachate)
prepared from concentrations of real leachate.
S.No

Heavy Metal

Concentration
(ppm)

Cadmium

37

Zinc

24

Lead

Arsenic

6.1

Nickel

3.7

1.Crack Intensity Factors :


Samples are compacted to size
6.7cm(diameter) and 4cm(thickness) at
three different water contents.

Compaction Dry cycle

Samples dried.
Saturated with water/solution.
Samples dried again.

Wet-Dry Cycle

Images are taken at end of each stage.


Images converted to grey scale and CIF has been found out
using java program.

Mould used for CIF

Red Earth Compacted at Wet of Optimum

Image Analysis for CIF:

Continue

CIF = (Surface Crack Area (Ac) / Total Surface Area of Specimen (At)) x 100
where Ac=No. of Bright pixels
At = Total No. of pixels

RED EARTH SOIL :


(a) At wet of optimum
Day

CIF
Water

SHMS (pH-5)

MHMS (pH-5) SHMS (pH-10) MHMS (pH-10)

2.79

2.79

2.79

2.79

2.79

0.04

0.2

0.23

0.17

0.15

3.68

8.71

8.82

6.54

6.2

(b) At optimum
Day

CIF
Water

SHMS (pH-5)

MHMS (pH-5) SHMS (pH-10) MHMS (pH-10)

0.64

0.64

0.64

0.64

0.64

0.05

0.23

0.28

0.19

0.17

0.78

2.65

2.81

2.24

2.21

RED EARTH SOIL :


(c) At dry of optimum
CIF
Day

Water

SHMS

MHMS

SHMS

MHMS

(pH-5)

(pH-5)

(pH-10)

(pH-10)

0.43

0.43

0.43

0.43

0.43

0.09

0.28

0.31

0.26

0.24

0.63

2.48

2.63

2.12

1.97

Variation of CIF with Red Earth Soil at OMC

BLACK COTTON SOIL


(a) At wet of optimum
Day

CIF
Water

SHMS (pH-5)

MHMS (pH-5)

SHMS (pH-10)

MHMS (pH-10)

4.43

4.43

4.43

4.43

4.43

0.03

0.26

0.29

0.22

0.2

4.79

9.86

9.97

8.64

8.31

(b) At optimum
Day

CIF
Water

SHMS (pH-5)

MHMS (pH-5)

SHMS (pH-10)

MHMS (pH-10)

3.22

3.22

3.22

3.22

3.22

0.04

0.34

0.37

0.31

0.29

4.34

7.21

7.65

6.84

6.42

BLACK COTTON SOIL


(c)At dry of optimum
CIF
Day

Water

SHMS (pH-5)

MHMS (pH-5) SHMS (pH-10) MHMS (pH-10)

2.24

2.24

2.24

2.24

2.24

0.08

0.46

0.49

0.43

0.39

3.08

5.14

5.27

4.87

4.61

Variation of CIF with Black Cotton Soil at OMC

SC SOIL
(a) At wet of optimum
Day

CIF
Water

SHMS (pH-5) MHMS (pH-5) SHMS (pH-10)

MHMS (pH-10)

5.13

5.13

5.13

5.13

5.13

0.032

0.24

0.26

0.21

0.19

6.81

12.64

12.878

10.81

10.04

(b) At optimum
Day

CIF
Water

SHMS (pH-5) MHMS (pH-5) SHMS (pH-10)

MHMS (pH-10)

3.69

3.69

3.69

3.69

3.69

0.034

0.26

0.28

0.23

0.2

5.23

8.73

8.94

7.23

7.11

SC SOIL
(c) At dry of optimum
CIF
Day

Water

SHMS (pH-5)

MHMS (pH-5) SHMS (pH-10) MHMS (pH-10)

2.95

2.95

2.95

2.95

2.95

0.043

0.32

0.49

0.29

0.25

4.82

5.61

5.85

5.14

5.09

Variation of CIF with SC Soil at OMC

Variation of CIF with PI

Variation of CIF with PI when test done with water

2.Hydraulic Conductivity
Hydraulic conductivity of the soil samples was measured as per the
procedure given by Tanit Chalermyanont (2008)

Schematic setup of Hydraulic conductivity test

Hydraulic Conductivity setup

Variation of Permeability ratio with water


(a) At wet of optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
1.317

13.87

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.095

Black cotton soil

40

0.332

5.227

17.2

SC soil

60

0.091

1.328

14.6

-7

-7

( b) At optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
1.81

12.58

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.141

Black cotton soil

40

0.505

7.17

14.2

SC soil

60

0.12

1.51

12.9

-7

-7

( c) At dry of optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
1.97

9.4

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.21

Black cotton soil

40

0.751

9.087

12.1

SC soil

60

0.183

1.88

10.3

-7

-7

Variation of Permeability ratio with SHMS (pH 5)


( a) At wet of optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
4.87

20.85

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.234

Black cotton soil

40

0.99

30.05

30.31

SC soil

60

0.54

11.7

21.68

-7

-7

( b) At optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
6.83

16.8

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.4067

Black cotton soil

40

2.066

59.5

28.8

SC soil

60

0.75

15.42

20.56

-7

-7

( c) At dry of optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
10.06

13.08

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.765

Black cotton soil

40

3.213

78.754

24.51

SC soil

60

1.175

22.6

19.25

-7

-7

Variation of Permeability ratio with SHMS (pH 10)


( a) At wet of optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
4.131

26.52

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.155

Black cotton soil

40

0.889

28.09

31.57

SC soil

60

0.322

8.956

27.8

-7

-7

( b) At optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
6.55

19.8

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.331

Black cotton soil

40

1.898

54.75

28.57

SC soil

60

0.41

10.217

26.52

-7

-7

( c) At dry of optimum
K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
13.835

18.07

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.75

Black cotton soil

40

2.512

66.638

26.52

SC soil

60

0.588

13.45

23.02

-7

-7

Variation of Permeability ratio with MHMS (pH 5)


(a) At wet of optimum
K0

K1
( 10-7 cm/s)
4.92

17.04

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10-7 cm/s)
0.289

Black cotton soil

40

1.026

32.015

31.2

SC soil

60

0.837

16.6

19.84

(b) At optimum
K0

K1
( 10-7 cm/s)
7.17

13.8

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10-7 cm/s)
0.519

Black cotton soil

40

2.255

59.5

26.38

SC soil

60

0.887

17.42

19.6

( c) At dry of optimum
K0

K1
( 10-7 cm/s)
12.06

13.6

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10-7 cm/s)
0.887

Black cotton soil

40

4.018

87.84

21.86

SC soil

60

1.261

23.78

18.86

Variation of Permeability ratio with MHMS (pH 10)


(a) At wet of optimum
Soil

PI

K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
3.693

25.58

Kr

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.144

Black cotton soil

40

0.656

25.48

38.8

SC soil

60

0.268

7.721

28.75

-7

-7

(b) At optimum
Soil

PI

K0

K1
( 10 cm/s)
6.181

20.52

Kr

Red earth

17

( 10 cm/s)
0.301

Black cotton soil

40

1.649

54.75

33.2

SC soil

60

0.402

8.882

22.05

-7

-7

(c) At dry of optimum


K0

K1
( 10-7 cm/s)
11.65

19.88

Kr

Soil

PI

Red earth

17

( 10-7 cm/s)
0.583

Black cotton soil

40

2.03

60.58

29.83

SC soil

60

0.556

12.17

20.68

Variation of Kr at wet of OMC


Kr
Soils

Water

SHMS

SHMS

MHMS

MHMS

(pH-5)

(pH-10)

(pH-5)

(pH-10)

Red Earth

13.87

20.85

26.52

17.04

25.58

Black Cotton Soil

17.2

30.31

31.57

31.2

38.8

SC soil

14.6

21.68

27.8

19.84

28.75

Conclusions
CIF values are observed to be more for soils having high plasticity
index values.
The soils compacted at wet of optimum moisture content showed
higher crack intensity factors and CIF value is more for the second
cycle of drying.
When acidic heavy metal solutions were used, the crack intensity
factors and hydraulic conductivity values are more when compared to
that of water, whereas under alkali conditions, the increase in these
values is found to be less.

Conclusions
The values of permeability ratios initially increased with
increase in plasticity index to some extent, but then decreased
with further increase in PI due to high self-healing of the soil.
In all the cases of tests done with heavy metal solutions, Red
Earth Soil showed minimum values of CIFs, hydraulic
conductivity and also permeability ratios hence Red Earth Soil
may be the suitable soil as a liner material among selected
locally available soils.

References

Seracettin Arasan, Effect of Chemicals on Geotechnical Properties of Clay Liners,


Research Journal of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology-2010.
M.H.T.Rayhani , E.K.Yanful and A Fakher (2007 ).Desiccation Induced Cracking And
Its Effect On Hydraulic Conductivity Of Clayey Soils In Iraq, Canadian Geotechnical
Journal
J.K.Kodikora, S.L.Barbour and D.G.Fredlund (2000). Desiccation Cracking of Soil
Layers, Asian Conference of Unsaturated Soils-UNSAT ASIA 2000.
Carol J Miller , Hong Mi and Nazli Yesillar (1998).Experimental Analysis Of
Desiccation Crack Propagation In Clay Liners, JAWRA Journal of the American Water
Resources Association-1998.
Tanit Chalermyanont, Surapon Arrykul and Nanthanit Charoenthaisong (2008).
Transport of heavy metals and chemical compatibility of hydraulic conductivity of a
compacted sand bentonite mixture. Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology,
30 (2), 269-276
Craig H. Benson and John M. Trast (1995). Hydraulic conductivity of thirteen
compacted clays. Clay and Clay Minerals, The clay minerals society, 43:669-681.