Use of electrical resistivity tomography for detecting the distribution of leachate and gas in a large-scale MSW landfill cell.


School of Civil Engineering & Architecture, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Hangzhou, 310018, China. [Email]


In this study, integrate electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) tests were carried out in a large-scale (5.0 × 4.0 × 7.5 m) MSW landfill cell to investigate the possibility of detecting perched leachate mounds, leachate level, and gas accumulation zones at wet landfills. The resistivity of both bulk waste and waste components at different moisture states were measured and the three-phase volumetric relationships of the waste pile were analyzed to better interpret the ERT test results in the large-scale cell. The following observations were given: (1) The relationship between resistivity and volumetric moisture content (VMC) of waste sample can be reasonably fitted by Archie's law. The resistivity of waste components at a saturated state was all lower than 21 Ω m. (2) A significant amount of void gas was entrapped in the underwater waste, being 30.4-34.8% of the whole waste pile in volume. (3) Low-resistivity zones (< 5.0 Ω m) were observed in the waste pile being fully drained under a gravity condition, which was believed to be related to a perched leachate. (4) The average VMC values of the waste layer below and above the leachate level were in the ranges of 46.5-53.1% and 28.1-41.3%, respectively. (5) Irregular variations of high-resistivity zones (> 40 Ω m) observed in the underwater waste were associated with the accumulation and dissipation of gas pressure. It was found that the "gas-breaking value" in the gas accumulation zone was up to 10.5 kPa greater than the pore liquid pressure in the stable methanogenesis stage. These findings shone a light on the possibility of using the ERT method as an efficient tool for mapping the gas/leachate distribution and improving operations at wet landfills.


Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT),Gas accumulation,Leachate level,Municipal solid waste (MSW),Perched leachate,Volumetric moisture content (VMC),