The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Seismic Response and Stability Analysis of Landfills


Case Study of OII


           An observation made from the literature review was the repeating references to the Operating Industries, Inc (OII). This paper will utilize this groundbreaking case study to exemplify the topics being discussed. This is a landfill equipped with the ability to monitor seismic activity which provided immense insight in the event of the Northridge earthquake. Most papers reviewed had mention of this site and seemingly provided a basis for future research and design criteria based on the empirical data gathered from OII. This allowed researchers some of their first major observations of a landfill’s response under seismic loading (Anderson & Kavazanjian, 1995).

In context, the OII landfill was in California and used MCE, or the Maximum Credible Earthquake event, for its design. MCE is the maximum earthquake capable of impacting the site. This is the more stringent design consideration for earthquake event as opposed to the MPE, or the Maximum Probable Earthquake. MCE is used for hazardous waste sites and MPE is used for MSW. As discussed earlier, of the two design philosophies, “without damage” was deemed impossible for the site given its siting location and thus the final cover system was catered to withstand an earthquake without the release of contaminants (Kavazanjian & Matasovic, 2001). It is important to note that in the consideration of an MCE, it is common to design the landfill to prevent the release of contaminants since designing for no damage is not feasible.


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