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Feature lecture 2

Some factors affecting geosynthetics used for geoenvironmental applications, by Professor R Kerry Rowe

A number of factors potentially affect the performance of geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) and HDPE geomembranes (GMs) in geoenvironmental applications.

These include the effect of the method of manufacture of GCLs; the interaction between GCLs with municipal solid waste (MSW) leachate, acid rock drainage, gold mine leachates and hydrocarbons; the effect of freeze-thaw cycles; fi eld exposure in the Arctic; the effect of the degree of saturation; the effect of subzero temperatures on the permeability of saturated and unsaturated GCLs; the potential for internal erosion of GCLs; susceptibility of GCLs and CCLs to shrinkage and desiccation when used as part of a composite liner; diffusion of volatile organic compounds and ions through both GMs and GCLs; leakage through single GMs and composite liners; the long-term performance of GMs in air, water and MSW leachate; and the effect of immersion in hydrocarbons on the depletion of antioxidants in GMs.

Professor R Kerry Rowe is vice-principal (research) and professor of civil engineering at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He is responsible for the administration of all research conducted at Queen's (from health sciences to the humanities) as well as for commercialisation of research in his capacity as chairman of Parteq Innovations. He is also a founding member of the Geoengineering Centre at Queen'sRMC. His research interests include tunnelling, reinforced embankments and walls as well as geoenvironmental engineering and he is the author of more than 400 publications.

He is a co-author of the computer programs Pollute and Migrate which are extensively used in landfill design.

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