In order to assess the effect of filled waste disposal trenches on transport-governing soil properties, comparisons were made between profiles of undisturbed soil and disturbed soil in a simulated waste trench. The changes in soil properties induced by the construction of a simulated waste trench were measured near the Radioactive Waste Management Complex at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in the semi-arid southeast region of Idaho. The soil samples were collected, using a hydraulically- driven sampler to minimize sample disruption, from both a simulated waste trench and an undisturbed area nearby. Results show that the undisturbed profile has distinct layers whose properties differ significantly, whereas the soil profile in the simulated waste trench is. by comparison, homogeneous. Porosity was increased in the disturbed cores, and, correspondingly, saturated hydraulic conductivities were on average three times higher. With higher soil-moisture contents (greater than 0.32), unsaturated hydraulic conductivities for the undisturbed cores were typically greater than those for the disturbed cores. With lower moisture contents, most of the disturbed cores had greater hydraulic conductivities. The observed differences in hydraulic conductivities are interpreted and discussed as changes in the soil pore geometry.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Changes in soil hydraulic properties caused by construction of a simulated waste trench at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho
Water-Resources Investigations Report
U.S. Geological Survey ;
Earth Science Information Center, Open-File Reports Section [distributor],