An evaluation of the geometric and physical parameters of dumps is important to assess the actual state of the dump. This may allow the monitoring of changes in the main organic components (percolate, biogas) during waste storage, location of buried structures such as leachate tanks, and continuity of the impermeable membrane. Furthermore, it must be ascertained whether the soil surrounding a dump is polluted and to what degree, such pollution is the result of outgoing organic fluids. When dumps are illegal and the geometric and physical parameters are unknown, determination of waste characteristics and detection of site boundaries become very relevant activities.
Most of the surveys currently used to investigate such sites are based on geophysical techniquesin addition to the implicit environmental risk, the old abandoned waste landfills, both municipal and industrial, very often represent a serious problem since adequate information on their depth and lateral extension is very limited, when not lacking at all. Moreover the knowledge of waste consistence, presence and quality of saturating fluids, metals and so on, represents an information that cannot be neglected when designing the reclamation procedures. With the purpose of overcoming-at least partially-the above said lack of information, the role of geophysical methods such as the gravity, electrical and seismic ones, also for their convenience, is very important.
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