■ Vertical core samples were obtained from an impervious, unweathered, water-saturated clay deposit beneath a 5-year-old hazardous waste landfill at a site in southwestern Ontario. Sections of the cores were analyzed for chloride and volatile organic compounds. Waste-derived chloride was detected in the clay to a maximum depth of 83 cm below the bottom of the landfill. The most mobile organic compounds were found only to a depth of ~15 cm. The downward transport of these chemical species into the clay was the result of simple Fickian diffusion. This study has implications for low-permeability clay liners used at waste disposal sites. For liners of typical thickness (~1 m), simple diffusion can cause breakthrough of mobile contaminants in approximately 5 years; the diffusive flux of contaminants out of such liners can be large.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Chemistry