Assessment of in situ properties of municipal solid waste with a large-diameter borehole method

John Hartwell, M. Sina Mousavi, Jongwan Eun, Shannon Bartelt-Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A Municipal Solid Waste Borehole Assessment (MBA) was developed to assess in situ geotechnical properties of municipal solid waste (MSW) during the boring of gas extraction well construction. A Large-Diameter Borehole Caliper (LDBC) was lowered into the borehole to measure the diameter and record the condition of the wall by time-lapse video photography. The results indicated that the borehole experienced significant radial compression with depth following completion. Radial compressions amounted to approximately 7.5% at 9.14 m, 10% at 21.3 m and 11% at 27.4 m below ground surface. The bulk modulus was estimated by using the captured volumetric strains and reported lateral earth coefficients, and the results showed that it increases with increasing depth. For MSW, the bulk modulus increased up to 13.4 MPa in a linear trend with depth. The unit weights of MSW were obtained using three diameter readings from LDBC, auger barrel outside diameter and outer cutting bit outside diameter. The results showed that the diameter based on outer cutting bit yielded realistic unit weights (5.08–9.68 kN m–3) due to unrealistic calculated saturations by other two assumed diameters. The borehole assessment with LDBC was shown to be an efficient and valuable means for characterising MSW and effectively designing gas extraction wells. The research provided a means to assess the waste mass with accuracy at great depths by directly observing and measuring borehole condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)987-997
Number of pages11
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Municipal solid waste
  • borehole
  • bulk modulus
  • field test
  • landfills
  • unit weight
  • waste management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of in situ properties of municipal solid waste with a large-diameter borehole method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this