Leachate plume delineation and lithologic profiling using surface resistivity in an open municipal solid waste dumpsite, Sri Lanka

Hasintha Rangana Wijesekara, Sunethra Nalin De Silva, Dharani Thanuja De Silva Wijesundara, Bendict Francis Antony Basnayake, Meththika Suharshini Vithanage

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


This study presents the use of direct current resistivity techniques (DCRT) for investigation and characterization of leachate-contaminated subsurface environment of an open solid waste dumpsite at Kandy, Sri Lanka. The particular dumpsite has no liner and hence the leachate flows directly to the nearby river via subsurface and surface channels. For the identification of possible subsurface flow paths and the direction of the leachate, DCRT (two-dimensional, three-dimensional and vertical electrical sounding) have been applied. In addition, the physico-chemical parameters such as pH, electrical conductivity (EC), alkalinity, hardness, chloride, chemical oxygen demand (COD) and total organic carbon (TOC) of leachate collected from different points of the solid waste dumping area and leachate drainage channel were analysed. Resistivity data confirmed that the leachate flow is confined to the near surface and no separate plume is observed in the downstream area, which may be due to the contamination distribution in the shallow overburden thickness. The stratigraphy with leachate pockets and leachate plume movements was well demarcated inside the dumpsite via low resistivity zones (1-3 Ωm). The recorded EC, alkalinity, hardness and chloride contents in leachate were averaged as 14.13mScm-1, 3236, 2241 and 320mgL-1, respectively, which confirmed the possible causes for low resistivity values. This study confirms that DCRT can be effectively utilized to assess the subsurface characteristics of the open dumpsites to decide on corridor placement and depth of permeable reactive barriers to reduce the groundwater contamination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2936-2943
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Technology (United Kingdom)
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 2 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Leachate plume delineation and lithologic profiling using surface resistivity in an open municipal solid waste dumpsite, Sri Lanka'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this