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The University of Southampton

Environmental Geotechnics

Environmental geotechnics is concerned with the application of geotechnical engineering principles and techniques to the protection of the environment. Environmental geotechnics at Southampton has been very closely associated with the development of more sustainable practices for landfill operation, management, aftercare and remediation; complemented by research on anaerobic digestion, carbon footprinting, societal influences and behaviour change and waste logistics within the wider Waste Management Research Group.

Work on landfill engineering and management continues with a particular emphasis on the behaviour of new wastes, the management of landfills so as to optimise gas and resource recovery, and the detailed mechanisms of contaminant transport and attenuation in clays. It is complemented by ongoing research into methane gas hydrates, groundwater flow and control and the use of pile foundations as heat exchanges for ground source heat pump energy systems.

Current research topics are:

  • Landfill Hydraulics - dominant controls on hydraulic properties of waste
  • Landfill settlement, degradation and process modelling
  • Leachate recirculation and collection systems
  • Attenuation of contaminants, including nanoparticles, in mineral liners
  • Long term liabilities of landfill
  • Use of pile foundations as heat exchangers for ground source heat pumps
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