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An Assessment of the Spatial Variability of Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Landfills: A GIS Based Statistical-Numerical Approach

L. A. K. Perera1,G. Achari2*,J. P. A. Hettiaratchi2

  1. Solid Waste Engineer, ARM Group Inc., 1129 West Governor Road, Hershey, PA, USA
  2. Department of Civil Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500, University Drive N.W., Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada

*Corresponding author. Email:


Emission of carbon dioxide and methane, two of the most important greenhouse gases, from landfills is a major concern. In this paper, a pseudo 3-D model, incorporating a 2-D geostatistical technique and a 1-D numerical model, was developed to study the spatial variability of the source strength of landfill gas. The 1-D model was used to represent advective, dispersive and reactive transport of landfill gas across the final cover of a landfill. The 1-D model was combined with a 2-D geostatistical technique to consider spatial distribution of landfill gas. The resulting pseudo 3-D model was developed within the ArcInfo GIS platform. Laboratory and field experiments were conducted to obtain data for calibration and verification of the model. The results indicated that the pseudo 3-D statistical-numerical model could be a useful tool to determine the source strength of landfill gas and to identify the location of hotspots beneath a landfill cover. A discussion of field applications and limitations of the model is also included.

Keywords: GIS applications, kriging, landfill gas, numerical modeling, source strength, spatial variations, surface emissions

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