Landfills are the most common solution for waste disposal. During the last years there has been a growing concern about the effect of landfills in public health, because leaching water can contaminate nearby aquifers. This concern has led to the conversion of open dumps into controlled and sanitary landfills as a critical step for protecting public health and the environment.
Sanitary landfilling is a fully engineered disposal option that avoids the harmful effects of uncontrolled dumping by spreading, compacting and covering the waste on land that has been carefully engineered before use.
Geophysical surveys are increasingly being used in this kind of projects by mapping the vertical and lateral variations of the fill material. The non-invasive geophysical methods which measure different physical properties, specifically Electrical Resistance Tomography (ERT), Induced Polarization (IP) or Frequency-Domain Electromagnetic (FDEM), could overcome many of the problems of the landfill in study.
The combined use of these geophysical methods therefore allows to better characterize the properties of the land and to map the subsurface in landfills and their surroundings.