A method for evaluating the integrity of geosynthetic elements of a waste containment system subject to seismic loading is developed using a large strain finite difference numerical computer program. The method accounts for the effect of interaction between the geosynthetic elements and the overlying waste on seismic response and allows for explicit calculation of forces and strains in the geosynthetic elements. Based upon comparison of numerical results to experimental data, an elastic-perfectly plastic interface model is demonstrated to adequately reproduce the cyclic behavior of typical geomembrane-geotextile and geomembrane-geomembrane interfaces provided the appropriate interface properties are used. New constitutive models are developed for the in-plane cyclic shear behavior of textured geomembrane/geosynthetic clay liner (GMX/GCL) interfaces and GCLs. The GMX/GCL model is an empirical model and the GCL model is a kinematic hardening, isotropic softening multi yield surface plasticity model. Both new models allows for degradation in the cyclic shear resistance from a peak to a large displacement shear strength. The ability of the finite difference model to predict forces and strains in a geosynthetic element modeled as a beam element with zero moment of inertia sandwiched between two interface elements is demonstrated using hypothetical models of a heap leach pad and two typical landfill configurations. The numerical model is then used to conduct back analyses of the performance of two lined municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills subjected to strong ground motions in the Northridge earthquake. The modulus reduction "backbone curve" employed with the Masing criterion and 2% Rayleigh damping to model the cyclic behavior of MSW was established by back-analysis of the response of the Operating Industries Inc. landfill to five different earthquakes, three small magnitude nearby events and two larger magnitude distant events. The numerical back analysis was able to predict the tears observed in the Chiquita Canyon Landfill liner system after the earthquake if strain concentrations due to seams and scratches in the geomembrane are taken into account. The apparent good performance of the Lopez Canyon landfill geomembrane and the observed tension in the overlying geotextile after the Northridge event was also successfully predicted using the numerical model.
- The integrity of geosynthetic elements of waste containment barrier systems subject to seismic loading
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Mohamed G. Arab