Wilson, GW 2006, 'The Application of Cover Systems for Mine Closure ⎯ Are We Doing it Right?', in AB Fourie & M Tibbett (eds), Mine Closure 2006: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on Mine Closure
, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 31-41, https://doi.org/10.36487/ACG_repo/605_Wilson
Mining companies invest heavily in cover systems for the control of long term net infiltration and leachate
production within mine rock and tailings. Recent field observations at numerous mine sites suggest actual
net infiltration rates are much higher than current modeling and field instrumentation techniques suggest. It
is important to ask, are we doing it right? The general purpose of this paper is directed at developing a basis
for questioning and evaluating current approaches used for predicting and monitoring the performance of
Store and Release covers.
The capacity of current modeling techniques used to evaluate infiltration and runoff from ‘Store and Release’
Covers is discussed herein. It is concluded that further investigation is needed to describe the physics of
flow and material properties for fractured soil properties that develop within the active zone of a soil cover
profile. Furthermore, better numerical techniques are needed. Finally, consideration needs to be given to
improving the measurement of net infiltration at the field scale for cover systems.
Edlefsen, N.E. and Anderson, A.B.C. (1943) Thermodynamics of soil moisture, Hilgardia, 15(2), pp. 31-298.
Fredlund, M.D. (2000) Unsaturated soil property functions, PhD Dissertation, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.
Fredlund, D.G. and Wilson, G.W. (2006) Are we doing it right? In Geotechnical News, Bitech Publishers, Richmond,
Geo-Slope (2004) Vadose/W User’s Manual. Geoslope International Ltd., Calgary, Canada.
Penman, H.L. (1948) Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil and grass. Proceedings of the Royal Society of
London, Series A, 193, pp.120-146.
Ritchie, J.T. (1972) Model for predicting evaporation from a row crop with incomplete cover. Water Resources
Research, 8(5), pp. 1204-1213.
SoilCover (1997) User’s Manual, Unsaturated Soils Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of
Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada.
Soil Vision (2005) SVFlux User’s Manual. Soil Vision Systems Ltd. Saskatoon, Canada.
Tratch, D.J., Wilson, G.W. and Fredlund, D.G. (1995) An introduction to analytical modelling of plant transpiration for
geotechnical engineers. Proceedings of the 48th Annual Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Vancouver, BC,
September 25-27, pp. 771-780.
Wilson, G.W., Fredlund, D.G. and Barbour, S.L. (1997) The effect of soil suction on evaporative fluxes from soil
surfaces. Canadian Geotechnical Journal (34), pp. 145-155.
Wilson, G.W., Fredlund, D.G. and Barbour, S.L. (1994) Coupled soil atmosphere modelling for soil evaporation.
Canadian Geotechnical Journal (31), pp. 151-161.
Mine Closure 2006, Perth, Australia 41