This study presents a novel geotechnical engineering approach that utilizes naturally occurring processes to reduce soil permeability in-situ. This approach is inspired by a soil stratification process (Podzolization), where a low permeability layer is formed by metal-organic matter precipitates. In a field experiment, a direct aluminum-organic matter (Al-OM) floc injection was applied to create a continuous vertical flow barrier in a dike. Direct injection uses the shear-dependent size of Al-OM flocs. High-shear conditions (i.e., during injection) lead to the breakage of Al-OM flocs and thus allow their transportation in soils. When the injection stops and low-shear conditions prevail, the Al-OM flocs re-grow in size and block the pores, which ultimately reduces soil permeability. Two different Al-OM floc concentrations were applied in the field. Results show that a continuous flow barrier is only formed at lower concentrations; at higher concentrations a scattered permeability reduction was achieved. This demonstrates the viability of this approach in reducing soil permeability in-situ and shows that the spatial distribution of the flocs depends on input concentration.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|