Design considerations for slip interfaces on steep-wall liner systems

R. Thiel, Edward Kavazanjian, X. Wu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


This paper presents a methodology for designing side slope liner systems to accommodate downdrag due to waste settlement. Settlement and downdrag along steep-lined slopes in landfills and other waste or mining containment facilities (e.g. heap leach pads, mine tailings impoundments) will occur to varying degrees during initial construction, waste placement, and post-placement. Two key questions in this regard with respect to the design of the side slope liner system are: "how much downdrag will occur?" and "at what degree of slope inclination does downdrag become an engineering concern?" The little field monitoring and limited research that has been done on this subject indicates that at a slope inclination of perhaps 2H:1V (Horizontal: Vertical) or steeper, downdrag could be a significant concern, but it could occur on flatter slopes as well, depending on the forces and the relative interface shear resistances within the liner system. The methodology presented herein combines a slip interface above the primary geomembrane with an underlying high-strength geotextile that is anchored at the benches and side slope crest and that extends part-way down the slope to sustain tensile forces induced by downdrag. Finite difference analyses were performed that demonstrate the feasibility of this approach to meet design goals using commercially available geosynthetic material.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication10th International Conference on Geosynthetics, ICG 2014
PublisherDeutsche Gesellschaft fur Geotechnik e.V.
ISBN (Print)9783981395396
StatePublished - 2014
Event10th International Conference on Geosynthetics, ICG 2014 - Berlin, Germany
Duration: Sep 21 2014Sep 25 2014


Other10th International Conference on Geosynthetics, ICG 2014


  • Containment
  • Downdrag
  • Geosynthetics
  • Settlement
  • Side slopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atmospheric Science
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Polymers and Plastics


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