Factors affecting water balance and percolate production for a landfill in operation

Tjalfe G. Poulsen*, Per Møldrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Percolate production and precipitation data for a full-scale landfill in operation measured over a 13-year period were used to evaluate the impact and importance of the hydrological conditions of landfill sections on the percolate production rates. Both active (open) and closed landfill sections were included in the evaluation. A simple top cover model requiring a minimum of input data was used to simulate the percolate production as a function of precipitation and landfill section hydrology. The results showed that changes over time in the hydrology of individual landfill sections (such as section closure or plantation of trees on top of closed sections) can change total landfill percolate production by more than 100%; thus, percolate production at an active landfill can be very different from percolate production at the same landfill after closure. Furthermore, plantation of willow on top of closed sections can increase the evapotranspiration rate thereby reducing percolate production rates by up to 47% compared to a grass cover. This process, however, depends upon the availability of water in the top layer, and so the evaporation rate wilt be less than optimal during the summer where soil-water contents in the top cover are low.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalWaste Management and Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Evapotranspiration
  • Hydrology
  • Percolate production
  • Top cover model
  • Wmr 767-9


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