Seismic Response of Landfills

Brief description

This research focus area aims to provide guidance on the seismic response of landfills. As part of a National Science Foundation study, tests were performed to assess the dynamic properties of municipal solid waste (MSW) via in situ testing, as well as large-scale laboratory testing. Large vibrators were used to assess not only the linear properties, but also the nonlinear dynamic properties in-situ.  Numerical analyses are also performed to develop recommendations on the potential for ground motion amplification as well as seismic stability of these landfills.



  • Sahadewa, A., Zekkos, D., Woods, R. D., Stokoe, K. H. (2014). “Field Testing Method for Evaluating the Small-strain Shear Modulus and Shear Modulus Reduction of Solid Waste.” ASTM Geotechnical Testing Journal (accepted).
  • Sahadewa, A., Zekkos, D., Woods, R. D., Stokoe, K. H., II, Matasovic, N. (2014). “In-situ assessment of the dynamic properties of municipal solid waste at a landfill in Texas.” Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, 65 (2014), 303–313.
  • Zekkos, D., Sahadewa, A., Woods, R. D., Stokoe, K. II (2014). “Development of a model for shear wave velocity of Municipal Solid Waste”, ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, March 2014, Vol. 140, Issue 3, 04013030(14).

Conference Papers

  • Sahadewa, A., Zekkos, D., Fei, X., Li, J., Zhao, X. (2014).  “Recurring Shear Wave Velocity Measurements at Smith’s Creek Bioreactor Landfill”, Geocongress 2014, Atlanta, Georgia, February 23-26 2014, 2072-2081.  
  • Zekkos, D., Sahadewa A., Woods, R. D., Stokoe, K., II. Matasovic, N. (2013). “In Situ Assessment of the Nonlinear Shear Modulus of Municipal Solid Waste”. Proc., 18th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, September 2-6, 2013, Paris, France, 1663-1666. 
  • Sahadewa, A., Zekkos, D., and Woods R. D. (2012). “Observations from the Implementation of a Combined Active and Passive Surface Wave Based Methodology”, Geocongress 2012: State of the Art and Practice in Geotechnical Engineering Conference, 25-29 March 2012, Oakland, California, edited by Hryciw, Athanasopoulos-Zekkos and Yesiller, ASCE Geotechnical Special Publication No. 225, pp. 2786-2795.
  • Sahadewa, A., Zekkos, D., Lobbestael, A., and Woods, R. D. (2011). “Shear wave velocity of Municipal Solid Waste in Michigan Landfills”. 14th Pan-American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering and 64th Canadian Geotechnical Conference, Geo-Innovation Addressing Global Challenges, October 2-6, 2011, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (in cd-rom).
  • Zekkos, D., Carlson, C. (2011) “Scaling vs. modification of ground motions and impact on seismic analyses of a MSW landfill”, 5th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, January 10-13 2011, Chile (in cd rom).

Students Involved


Andhika Sahadewa


Michael Klein
SURE, Spring-Summer 2012
Mohammad Kabalan
Rob Glew
UROP, Fall 2011 –Winter 2012
Dimitris Tolios
Fall 2010-Winter 2011 (freshman), UROP Program
Jane Gregg
NeWinCEE, Spring-Summer 2012, Spring-Summer 2013
Jiacheng Li
Independent research and SURE program, Winter 2013 and Spring-Summer 2013.
Saya Kajiwara
UROP, Fall 2012-Winter 2013
Renee Wiwel
UROP, Fall 2012-Winter 2013
Alex Demetriou
UROP, Fall 2011-Winter 2012
Zach Jones
UROP, Fall 2011-Winter 2012
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