Slope Stability of Containment Systems – Short Course

Slope Stability of Containment Systems is part of TRI Environmental’s Short Course Training Week in Austin, Texas (7 – 11 May 2018). Led by Dr. Jeffrey Kuhn, P.E. and Dr. Ranjiv Gupta, P.E., the course provides insight from the independent testing and geoenvironmental consulting & owner’s perspectives on a wide range of containment structures (e.g., municipal and hazardous waste landfills, coal ash surface impoundments, heap leach pads). These facilities are constructed using multiple layers of geosynthetic materials such as geomembranes, geotextiles, geonets, geocomposites, and geosynthetic clay liners (GCL). The design of a containment structure not only requires an understanding of the properties of each individual geosynthetic material but also the ability to comprehend the interaction mechanism (friction) between various geosynthetic layer interfaces. This understanding of interface friction between various geosynthetic layers becomes even more challenging as the interface governing the stability of slopes within a containment structure may change depending on if the project is in a construction phase, a waste filling phase, or being closed with a final cover system.


New Short Course: Slope Stability of Containment Systems


This course will be presented in two parts, each of which complements the other, to provide maximum benefit to the attendees. The first part will focus on slope stability of containment structures including an overview of sources of interface strength, the difference between peak and large displacement strength for design, the relation between normal stress and failure envelopes, and slope stability calculations.

The second part will provide an explanation of ASTM D5321, including detailed discussion of test parameters. Procedural implications of specimen anchorage, normal stress application, machine friction and calibration, rate of shear, and reporting mechanisms will be discussed. In addition, limitations of the ASTM D5321 test will be explored, with explanation of alternative tests including torsional shear, tilt table, and double interface shear. Special emphasis will be placed on specifying a meaningful shear test that will best serve the user’s project requirements. The forensic analysis of several slope failure case studies will be presented to help relate the material presented during the course with real-world applications.

New Short Course: Slope Stability of Containment Systems


The course and certification schedule:

Instructors for the CQA Week events include:

  • Sam Allen – Vice President and Division Manager, TRI
  • Jeffrey Blum – Project Manager, Weaver Consultants Group
  • Abigail Gilson, M.S., P.E. – Senior Engineer for TRI/Environmental
  • Jeffrey Kuhn, P.E. – Director of TRI Geotechnical Laboratory
  • Mark Sieracke, P.E. – Landfill Design and CQA Consultant


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