Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 36, pp 36173–36183 | Cite as

Modeling fully coupled hydraulic-mechanical-chemical processes in a natural clay liner under mechanical and chemico-osmotic consolidation

  • Zhihong ZhangEmail author
  • Shakil A. Masum
  • Hywel R. Thomas
  • Lin Han
Research Article


Clayey material that possesses semipermeable membrane property may experience osmotic consolidation in presence of an osmotic gradient. In this paper, a fully coupled H-M-C model has been presented to study solute transport under the combined influence of mechanical and osmotic consolidations and vice versa. The model has been tested against the results of relevant importance and good agreements have been achieved. The model has been applied to investigate long-term solute transport behavior and consequent deformations/settlements in a natural clay liner. The results suggest, at early stages, solute transport is dominated by mechanical consolidation; however, physicochemical interaction associated with osmotic processes and osmotic consolidation dominates in the long term. Osmotic settlement shows decreasing trend past the maximum deformation of the clay liner indicating reduction of osmotic gradient across the semipermeable membrane. It is also evident that overall soil consolidation and transport of solute are affected by the concentration of the solute at the source or the injection boundary.


Coupled Solute Transport Chemico-osmotic Mechanical consolidation Modeling 


Funding information

Zhihong Zhang is funded by the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2014CB744702) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51678012). Shakil A. Masum is supported by the Welsh Government and HEFCW through Ser Cymru National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy and the Environment (NRN-LCEE) via Geo-Carb-Cymru Cluster. The financial supports are gratefully recognized.


  1. Alshawabkeh AN, Rahbar N, Sheahan T (2005) A model for contaminant mass flux in capped sediment under consolidation. J Contam Hydrol 78(3):147–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barbour SL, Fredlund DG (1989) Mechanisms of osmotic flow and volume changes in clay soils. Can Geotech J 26(4):551–562CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowders JJ Jr, Daniel DE (1987) Hydraulic conductivity of compacted clay to dilute organic chemicals. J Geotech Eng 113(12):1432–1448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen G, Gallipoli D, Ledesma A (2007) Chemo-hydro-mechanical coupled consolidation for a poroelastic clay buffer in a radioactive waste repository. Transp Porous Media 69(2):89–213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Di Maio C (1996) Exposure of bentonite to salt solution: osmotic and mechanical effects. Geotechnique 46(4):695–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fernandez F, Quigley RM (1991) Controlling the destructive effects of clay–organic liquid interactions by application of effective stress. Can Geotech J 28(3):388–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ghassemi A, Diek A (2003) Linear chemo-poroelasticity for swelling shales: theory and application. J Pet Sci Eng 38(3):199–212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Gibson RE, Potter LJ, Savvidou C, et al (1995) Some aspects of one-dimensional consolidation and contaminant transport in wastes. In: Proc., Int. Symp. on Compression and Consolidation of Clayey Soils Hiroshima, Japan: Balkema, 2, pp 815–845Google Scholar
  9. Greenberg J, Mitchell J, Witherspoon P (1973) Coupled salt and water flows in a groundwater basin. J Geophys Res 78:6341–6353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Guo Y (2012) Designerly research into the landscape conversion of irregular landfill surrounding Beijing city. Tsinghua University, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  11. Hart RD, John CS (1986) Formulation of a fully coupled thermal-mechanical-fluid flow model for non-linear geologic systems. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 23(3):213–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hu DW, Zhou H, Hu Q et al (2012) A hydro-mechanical-chemical coupling model for geomaterial with both mechanical and chemical damages considered. Acta Mech Solida Sin 25(4):361–376CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Huang L, Zhao CG, Liu Y, Cai GQ (2012) 3D contaminant migration model with consolidation dependent transport coefficients. Acta Mech Sinica 28(1):151–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hueckel T (1997) Chemo-plasticity of clays subjected to stress and flow of a single contaminant. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 21(1):43–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Kaczmarek M (2001) Chemically induced deformation of a porous layer coupled with advective-dispersive transport. Analytical solutions. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 25(8):757–770CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kaczmarek M, Hueckel T (1998) Chemo-mechanical consolidation of clays: analytical solutions for a linearized one-dimensional problem. Transp Porous Media 32(1):49–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lewis TW, Pivonka P, Smith DW (2009) Theoretical investigation of the effects of consolidation on contaminant transport through clay barriers. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 33(1):95–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Li T, Liu L, Ding ZX (2012) Study of transport and transformation of contaminant through a clay layer with large deformation. Rock Soil Mech 33(3):687–694Google Scholar
  19. Liu JG, Wang HT, Nie YF (2004) Fractal model for predicting effective diffusion coefficient of solute in porous media. Adv Water Sci 15(4):458–462Google Scholar
  20. Malusis MA, Shackelford CD (2002a) Theory for reactive solute transport through clay membrane barriers. J Contam Hydrol 59:291–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Malusis MA, Shackelford CD (2002b) Chemico-osmotic efficiency of a geosynthetic clay liner. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 128(2):97–106CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Malusis MA, Kang JB, Shackelford CD (2014) Restricted salt diffusion in a geosynthetic clay liner. International Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing Conference, pp 134–139Google Scholar
  23. Mitchell JK (1993) Fundamentals of soil behavior. John Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  24. Musso, G., Della Vecchia, G., Romero, E., 2013. Modeling the coupled chemo-hydro-mechanical behavior of compacted active clays. Coupled Phenomena in Environmental Geotechnics, pp 199–210Google Scholar
  25. Nelles M, Nassour HA, Naas AE, Lemke ., Morscheck G, Schuch A, He P, Lu F, Shao L, Zhang H (2017) Recycling and recovery of the biogenic fractions from municipal solid waste in the PR of China. Available at: Accessed 27 Jan 2018
  26. Peters GP, Smith DW (2002) Solute transport through a deforming porous medium. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 26(7):683–717CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Peters GP, Smith DW (2004) The influence of advective transport on coupled chemical and mechanical consolidation of clays. Mech Mater 36(5):467–486CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pu HF, Fox PJ (2014) Model for coupled CRS consolidation and contaminant transport. Geotech Spec Publ 241:40–49Google Scholar
  29. Pu HF, Fox PJ, Shackelford CD (2016) Contaminant transport through a compacted clay liner with the consideration of consolidation effects. Geotech Spec Publ 273:118–127Google Scholar
  30. Reddy KR, Kumar G, Giri RK et al (2017) Modelling coupled processes in municipal solid waste landfills: an overview with key engineering challenges. Int J Geosynthetic Ground Eng 3:6. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith DW (2000) One-dimensional contaminant transport through a deforming porous medium: theory and a solution for a quasi-steady-state problem. Int J Numer Anal Methods Geomech 24(8):693–722CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wei DM, Wu JR, Liu ZJ et al (2014) C-H-M model of clay containing ionic solutions. Mech Eng 36(1):29–32Google Scholar
  33. Xie HJ, Lou ZH, Chen YM et al (2013) An analytical solution to organic contaminant diffusion through composite liners considering the effect of degradation. Geotext Geomembr 36:10–18CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Xie HJ, Jiang YS, Zhang CH et al (2015a) An analytical model for volatile organic compound transport through a composite liner consisting of a geomembrane, a GCL and a soil liner. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22:2824–2836CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Xie HJ, Jiang YS, Zhang CH et al (2015b) Steady-state analytical models for performance assessment of landfill composite liners. Environ Sci Pollut Res 22(16):12198–12214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Xie HJ, Yan HX, Zhang CH et al (2015c) Analytical models for contaminant transport in clayey soils considering coupled effect of consolidation, diffusion and degradation. J Hydraul Eng 46(Z1):124–128Google Scholar
  37. Xie HJ, Yan HX, Feng SJ et al (2016) An analytical model for contaminant transport in landfill composite liners considering coupled effect of consolidation, diffusion, and degradation. Environ Sci Pollut Res 23(19):19362–19375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Xie HJ, Zhang CH, Feng SJ et al (2018) Analytical model for degradable organic contaminant transport through GMB/GCL/AL system. J Environ Eng ASCE 144(3):04018006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhang ZH (2007) Research on transport rule of dredged sludge contaminant through clay impermeable layer[D]. Beijing Jiaotong University, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  40. Zhang ZH, Shi YM, Zhu M (2016) Coupled hydro-mechanical-chemical model for clay liner. Chin J Geotech Eng 38(7):1283–1290Google Scholar
  41. Zhao CG, Bai B (2004) Fundamentals of soil mechanics. Tsinghua University Press, BeijingGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhihong Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shakil A. Masum
    • 2
  • Hywel R. Thomas
    • 2
  • Lin Han
    • 1
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Urban Security & Disaster Engineering, Ministry of EducationBeijing University of TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Geoenvironmental Research CentreCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

Personalised recommendations