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Discussion papers | Copyright
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-163
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 31 May 2018

Research article | 31 May 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). A final paper in HESS is not foreseen.

The effect of initial water distribution and spatial resolution on the interpretation of ERT monitoring of water infiltration in a landfill cover

Gaël Dumont1,2, Tamara Pilawski1, Thomas Hermans1,3, Frédéric Nguyen1, and Sarah Garré2 Gaël Dumont et al.
  • 1Urban and Environmental Engineering, University of Liege, Liège, 4000, Belgium
  • 2TERRA Teaching and Research Center, University of Liege, Gembloux, Agro-Bio Tech, Gembloux, 5030, Belgium
  • 3Departement of Geology, University of Ghent, Ghent, 9000, Belgium

Abstract. In a landfill, the biodegradation of the organic fraction of the waste is driven by its moisture. Once the waste dump is covered, the infiltration through the cover layer is a source of additional water. In this study, the changes in water content in a landfill cover layer were investigated with long time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) profiles. Measurements carried out during a rainfall event allowed the detection of zones with large infiltration events. We addressed all interpretation limits inherent to such a large scale, low resolution investigation with the use of synthetic modelling. Firstly, the smoothed resistivity changes distribution failed to detect small infiltration areas and induced a misestimation of the infiltration depth and volume in large infiltration zones. Secondly, when the background water content is not homogeneous, relative changes, as commonly used in literature, reflect both the background moisture distribution and the monitored changes. Thirdly, the temperature and pore fluid conductivity distribution are needed to compute the absolute water content changes. The latter better reflects the infiltration pattern. Lastly, rain water infiltration results in pore water dilution. When the dilution effect is not considered, the infiltrated volume is underestimated. This approach enabled us to detect a large infiltration zone that could be responsible for an important part of the annual water infiltration.

Gaël Dumont et al.
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Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Gaël Dumont et al.
Gaël Dumont et al.
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Latest update: 17 Oct 2018
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Short summary
We used long time lapse geoelectrical profiles to monitor water infiltration through a landfill cover layer. The obtained electrical resistivity changes are smoothed and reflect both moisture variations, the background resistivity heterogeneity, and temperature and salinity changes due to water infiltration. Interpretation limits were investigated by using synthetic modelling. Using these results to avoid over-interpretation, field observations revealed zones where large infiltration occurs.
We used long time lapse geoelectrical profiles to monitor water infiltration through a landfill...
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