Environmental Geology

, Volume 56, Issue 6, pp 1135–1143 | Cite as

Quantitative analysis of physical and geotechnical factors affecting methane emission in municipal solid waste landfill

  • Dawit TecleEmail author
  • Jejung Lee
  • Syed Hasan
Original Article


The amount of methane that vent from landfills is dependent on the physical, chemical and biological components of the soil cover. Especially moisture content and temperature of the soil are known as the major controlling factors. In situ moisture content measurement is very critical because the moisture content of the soil continuously changes within minutes to hours as a result of change in temperature. The presented study used time domain reflectometry to measure in situ moisture content and analyzed moisture content, temperature and methane data of the landfill soil cover in a quantitative manner. Geotechnical factors including soil grain size and uniformity coefficient of the soil were analyzed and their influence on moisture content and methane emission was examined. The authors used kriging and polynomial regression methods to characterize the spatial distribution of moisture content and methane emission. Methane emission showed good temporal correlation with soil temperature, however, no significant relationship between moisture content and methane emission was observed. Spatial distribution of soil attributes was also analyzed to examine its effect on those variables. The spatial pattern of moisture content was quite similar to that of uniformity coefficient, Cu and that of clay content of the soil but strongly contrasted to that of methane emission.


Geoscience Contaminant dispersion Geostatistics 



This research was supported by the University of Missouri as part of Graduate research assistance. We thank Caroline Davies for her assistance with soil analysis and for use of their laboratory. We also thank Rebecca Karbaumer for her assistance in the fieldwork.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesUniversity of Missouri Kansas CityKansas CityUSA

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