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Accueil du site → Doctorat → États-Unis → 2010 → Determining Preliminary Components for a Landfill Evapotranspiration Cover

University of Toledo (2010)

Determining Preliminary Components for a Landfill Evapotranspiration Cover

Barnswell, Kristopher D.

Titre : Determining Preliminary Components for a Landfill Evapotranspiration Cover.

Auteur : Barnswell, Kristopher D.

Université de soutenance : University of Toledo

Grade : PhD, Biology (Ecology), 2010

Evapotranspiration (ET) covers have gained considerable interest as an alternative to conventional covers for the final closure of landfills. Due to their apparent benefits (e.g. comparatively lower costs and longer life-span), ET covers are becoming ubiquitous in arid and semiarid regions. The goal of this project is to demonstrate, in part, how changes in the design of ET covers can be used to accommodate more humid regions, specifically northwest Ohio. In the initial stages of this project, we realized that an ET cover also could be designed to help ameliorate two issues of environmental concern in northwest Ohio : the management of dredged sediment from Lake Erie by its incorporation into the soil layer of a cover, and the restoration of native habitat by the judicious selection and incorporation of native plant species into the cover design. The target value for the percolation of water through an ET cover in Ohio is less than 32 cm yr-1. We hypothesized that the changes needed to achieve this target and accommodate the wetter conditions of northwest Ohio include : (1) increasing the soil water storage capacity, and (2) maximizing plant transpiration throughout the growing season. The experimental approach to test this hypothesis included : • Create a manufactured soil that incorporates the dredged sediment. Organic materials (peat moss and sawdust) were added to increase the soil water storage capacity and the growth of native plant species. • Select native plant species that are prevalent in the region with a functionality that spans the early, mid, and late months of the growing season (April through October). Ten candidate plant species were tested for their transpiration capacity. • Combine the components into a model ET cover. Field lysimeters were watered at a rate to simulate a portion of the wettest year on record (66 cm from June through November). The results from these experiments were encouraging. • We found that adding peat moss and/or sawdust to dredged sediment increased the soil water storage capacity. Whereas the addition of peat moss increased plant growth, sawdust decreased plant growth. • Of the ten candidate plants, we identified five species that in combination maximized transpiration throughout the growing season (Elymus virginicus and Achillea millefolium in the spring, Panicum virgatum in the summer, and Andropogon gerardii and Solidago canadensis into the fall). • We found that model ET covers produced percolation at rates less than 32 cm yr-1. The covers representing the mature restored tall-grass prairie produced considerably less percolation (0.00 to 9.41 cm yr-1) than immature plants (6.67 to 25.36 cm yr-1). Thus, the percolation produced by ET covers decreased over time with plant maturation. The findings of this project suggest (1) an ET cover would work for the final closure of landfills in humid regions, which should encourage the extension of the application to northwest Ohio. (2) By incorporating dredged sediment, the ET covers may provide a strategy to beneficially re-use significant amounts of sediment and further extend the lifespan of confined disposal facilities. (3) The ET covers also included a mixture of native plant species, indicating that an ET cover may facilitate the restoration of native habitat. (4) Based on our research findings, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has allowed for an Alternatives Array that includes a call out for designs for an ET cover as part of the remedial strategy for the King Road Landfill. This is the first time that an alternative cover will be used for a landfill in Ohio, and I will continue to be part of the ongoing research.

Mots-clés : Dredged sediment ; evapotranspiration cover ; habitat restoration ; landfills ; native plant species ; percolation


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Page publiée le 26 avril 2011, mise à jour le 26 décembre 2018