Understanding the processes occurring inside a landfill is important for improving the treatment of landfills. Irrigation and recirculation of leachate are widely used in landfill treatments. Increasing the efficiency of such treatments requires a detailed understanding of the flow inside the landfill. The flow depends largely on the heterogeneous distribution of density. It is, therefore, of great practical interest to determine the density distribution affecting the flow paths inside a landfill. Studies in the past have characterized landfill sites but have not led to high-resolution, detailed quantitative results. We performed an S-wave reflection survey, multichannel analysis of surface waves (MASW), and electrical resistivity survey to investigate the possibility of delineating the heterogeneity distribution in the body of a landfill. We found that the high-resolution S-wave reflection method offers the desired resolution. However, in the case of a very heterogeneous landfill and a high noise level, the processing of high-resolution, shallow reflection data required special care. In comparison, MASW gave the general trend of the changes inside the landfill, whereas the electrical resistivity (ER) survey provides useful clues for interpretation of seismic reflection data. We found that it is possible to localize fine-scale heterogeneities in the landfill using the S-wave reflection method using a high-frequency vibratory source. Using empirical relations specific to landfill sites, we then estimated the density distribution inside the landfill, along with the associated uncertainty considering different methods. The final interpretation was guided by supplementary information provided by MASW and ER tomography.

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