The International Information Center for Geotechnical Engineers

Vertical Impermeable Barriers (Cutoff Walls)


3.            Other Important Considerations

There are many other methods for creating cutoff walls which are generally used less frequently than the ones previously listed. A few of them are listed below in Table 11 with some brief information. 

Table 11:  Additional Methods for Constructing Vertical Cutoff Barriers

other table


Pearlman (1999) presents some key factors that should be taken into consideration when choosing, designing, and constructing the barrier system:

  • Establish the barrier geometry (alignment, depth, and thickness)
  • Perform compatibility testing in order to select the most effective barrier material and if necessary appropriate mixture conditions
  • Determine the most effective and feasible construction method
  • Construction quality assurance/quality control and monitoring should be taken into account since they are a crucial component of subsurface barrier design.

When constructing a cutoff wall there are several factors to consider including time, available space, cost, target permeability, etc. Table 12 compares some of the important factors for several of the most common types of cutoff walls.


Table 12:  Comparison of Passive Vertical Containment Barriers (Shackelford & Jefferis, 2000)

table 12


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