Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment

, Volume 73, Issue 4, pp 1089–1103 | Cite as

Study on the permeability evolution law and the micro-mechanism of CCL in a landfill final cover under the dry-wet cycle

  • Yong Wan
  • Qiang XueEmail author
  • Lei Liu
Original Paper


This paper aims to investigate the failure mechanism of compacted clay liner (CCL) impervious structures caused by the dry-wet cycles in a landfill final cover. Experimental research is performed on the evolution of permeability characteristics and microstructure of CCL with different initial compactness under repeated dry-wet cycles. The research results show that the effect of dry-wet cycle varies significantly on clays with different compactness. The permeability of the low-compacted clay (90 %) gradually decreases as the times of dry-wet cycles increases, while those of the high-compacted clay (98 %) gradually increases. A non-linear variation relationship between the permeability and dry-wet cycle times with compactness of CCL has been established. The tests and the prediction outcomes of the models both show that, after several dry-wet cycles, the permeability of all compacted clays are greater than 1 × 10−9 m/s, which can not meet the anti-seepage requirement of the landfill cover systems. The change in pore connectivity caused by the damage of soil structure under the wet-dry cycles is the main factor for the change of the permeability characteristics of CCL. We’ve determined the quantitative indexes (critical pore size) that can present the connectivity characteristic of the pore structure of clay, for which the evolution law under the dry-wet cycles is the same as that of the permeability of the CCL.


Landfills Clay Compactness Dry-wet cycle Permeability characteristics Microstructure 



This research was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (2012CB719802); “Interdiscipline and Cooperation” science and technology Innovation team, Chinese Academy of Sciences. The National Water Pollution Control and Management Science and Technology Major Projects of China (2012ZX07104-002); the Special Fund for Basic Research on Scientific Instruments of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51279199,5079143) and Hubei Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (2011CDA105).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil MechanicsChinese Academy of SciencesWuhanChina

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