Response of landfill clay liners to extended periods of freezing

Carol J. Miller, Jai Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This paper presents the results of a physical model study of the performance of landfill clay cover liners subjected to extended freezing periods. Three proposed designs for a prototype cover liner were evaluated with a primary objective being the determination of frost penetration resulting from the sub-freezing temperatures imposed as an upper boundary condition to the model. The ultimate performance of the three liner designs were compared on the basis of frost penetration, leakage through the liner, and frost heave. The observed depth of frost penetration was compared to that predicted using a simplified analytical solution of the thermodynamic problem, in addition to measured field behavior. The laboratory experiment utilizes a 1.8 m2 tank, of ca 2.1 m depth. The tank is loaded with clay to the specifications required for landfill liners. Three different landfill cover liner designs were modeled in the experimental tank. The performance of the three designs, as measured by a variety of observations, were compared. Frost heave was measured for each design and was found to vary between 3.8 and 4.3 cm. The results indicate the depth of frost penetration was similar for all designs tested (29.2-31.7 cm), although the design which included a soil drainage layer had superior leakage performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-302
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering Geology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • Freezing
  • Frost action
  • Frost heaving
  • Frozen ground
  • Landfills
  • Permeability
  • Thermal conductivity


Dive into the research topics of 'Response of landfill clay liners to extended periods of freezing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this