Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Engineering

First Advisor

Associate Professor Sanjay Kumar Shukla

Second Advisor

Professor Daryoush Habibi


The resistivity of soil ranges from 7-15 Ωm for Leachate #1 to 20-50 Ωm for Leachate #2. The resistivity decreases with an increase in the proximity to the leak point. Furthermore, the resistivity values obtained with water were nearly 10 times the values observed with landfill leachate as the leaching liquid. Based on the resistivity profiles of soil as observed at different time intervals, the method is found to be effective in determining leakages in the liner.

The test results have also been presented for the leakage of Bayer liquor obtained from aluminium manufacturing company in Western Australia. The resistivity values were found to range from 1 to 3 Ωm. A similar trend in the resistivity values was found with distance/depth for Bayer liquor contamination as observed with other leachates. Therefore, the installation of this innovative detection system below the liners in the aluminium industry can enable the effective monitoring of the lining systems and in case of failures, to take timely action for hazard mitigation.

Finally, based on the leak detection test results, empirical correlations and analytical modelling have been developed and presented for the relationship between resistivity, leakage duration and distance/depth. These can be used to predict the velocity of flow of leachate at any point within a liner base soil specimen. A numerical model for the seepage analysis of the leak detection test has been developed using the SEEP/W software. The flow velocity obtained from this model has then been used in conjunction with the new correlations to generate resistivity profiles for any specific soil type and leachate, in the leak detection test. Any other suitable seepage analysis software (e.g. GGU-SEEP, GGU-SS-FLOW2D, GGU-SSFLOW3D, etc.) can be used by practicing engineers to predict resistivity, and therefore, to design a suitable lining system for waste containment facilities.

This research work is particularly useful in generating awareness about the state of landfilling and will help various environmental protection agencies in making informed decisions for the development of rules and regulations to govern landfills. It is demonstrated that this system can be used to effectively detect and locate the liner leaks by simulating the field condition. The newly developed innovative diagnostic technique can be useful in designing the monitoring systems for waste storage and handling facilities, subbase contamination detection, liner leak detection, development and placement of sensors, soil and corrosion studies and so on, in Australia as well as worldwide.