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A leachate plume emanating from the Shelby County Landfill located at Memphis, Tennessee is defined using selected major and trace inorganic constituents. High specific conductance values and elevated concentrations of ammonia, barium, boron, calcium, chloride, dissolved solids, potassium, sodium, and strontium were measured in water samples from wells screened in the alluvial and Memphis aquifers downgradient from or proximal to the landfill. Of these constituents, barium, boron, chloride, and strontium were used in the geochemical model code PHREEQE to estimate the percent leachate component in selected Memphis aquifer samples. Estimates of the leachate component in samples from affected Memphis aquifer wells range from 5 to 37 percent for barium and strontium, the most reliable tracers found during this study.
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Leachate geochemistry at a municipal landfill, Memphis, Tennessee