2014 – Application of Geomembrane Sealing Systems in Two Tailings Dams

Behrooz Ghahreman Nejad

In recent years, dam designers have become increasingly interested in application of the geomembrane sealing systems (GSS) in design of tailings storage facilities around the world. The main reasons for this have been the deformation characteristics, environmental aspects (ie seepage minimisation), speed of construction and constructability of geomembrane liners in most climatic conditions. This paper reports the design and application of two types of geomembrane sealing system in Angas Zinc (AZ) and Sarcheshmeh Copper (SC) tailings dams. The former is a 25m high zoned earthfill embankment with an HDPE liner system, located in an environmentally sensitive site in South Australia. The latter is a 94m high zoned rockfill embankment with a PVC liner system, located in a region of high seismicity in central Iran.

The designs of the AZ and SC geomembrane sealing systems including geomembrane liner, drainage layer, anchoring, leak detection system and drains, and instrumentations are discussed in detail. The performance of the liner systems during operation is also presented.


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