Environmental Geology

, 57:749

Gravity data as a tool for landfill study


  • João B. C. Silva
    • Universidade Federal do Pará
  • Wlamir A. Teixeira
    • Universidade Federal do Pará
    • Observatório Nacional, Gal. José Cristino
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00254-008-1353-6

Cite this article as:
Silva, J.B.C., Teixeira, W.A. & Barbosa, V.C.F. Environ Geol (2009) 57: 749. doi:10.1007/s00254-008-1353-6


This paper shows the potential of gravity data to map a buried landfill bottom topography. To this end, a gravity inversion method is presented for estimating the landfill’s bottom depths at discrete points assuming a decrease of the density contrast with depth according to a hyperbolic law. The method’s efficiency was tested using synthetic data from simulated waste landfills, producing estimated bottom topographies very close to the true ones. The method’s potentiality has been further evaluated in applying it to the gravity data from the abandoned Thomas Farm Landfill site, Indiana, USA, whose bottom topography is known. The estimated topography showed close agreement with the known Thomas Farm Landfill’s bottom topography.


Waste LandfillGravity inversionLandfill’s lower boundaryVariable density contrastSmoothing stabilizer

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008