Original Article

Environmental Geology

, 57:749

First online:

Gravity data as a tool for landfill study

  • João B. C. SilvaAffiliated withUniversidade Federal do Pará
  • , Wlamir A. TeixeiraAffiliated withUniversidade Federal do Pará
  • , Valéria C. F. BarbosaAffiliated withObservatório Nacional, Gal. José Cristino Email author 

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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 Landfill Gravity inversion Landfill’s lower boundary Variable density contrast Smoothing stabilizer