CSDMS 2015 annual meeting poster GarryWillgoose

Presentation provided during CSDMS annual meeting 2015

Developing a soils-regolith evolution model for the design of covers for hazardous and nuclear waste containment facilities

Garry Willgoose, The University of Newcastle, Australia. garry.willgoose@newcastle.edu.au
Dimuth Welivitiya, The University of Newcastle, Australia.
Greg Hancock, The University of Newcastle, Australia.
Sagy Cohen, The University of Alabama, Alabama, United States.


Low level nuclear waste and uranium mining tailings repositories are required to provide containment of waste for 10,000 years. This is sufficient for significant geomorphic evolution to have occurred and for materials in the containment facilities cover to change from as-constructed. During the 1990's our group pioneered the use of landform evolution models for the design of such facilities. In the last decade our group has focussed on the evolution of the material properties of the cover, typically some form of rocky artificial soil. This poster (and movies associated with) will highlight our models (mARM, SSSPAM) for regolith and soils evolution under the impacts of erosion and weathering over these timescales. These models are able to simulate the evolution of the grading of the soil profile with depth and over catchment scale using data from field and lab experiments. The specific focus of this poster will be current work on the dynamics of the soil evolution process and what are the dominant processes controlling profile development and spatial organisation. Results for the proposed tailings repository at Ranger Uranium Mine will be shown.

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