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Evaluating Wind Uplift for Exposed Geomembranes Using Computer Modeling
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Abstract: The accurate calculation of wind uplift forces on an exposed geomembrane is essential for generating design requirements for the anchorage system.

These requirements often largely dictate construction costs, so inaccuracies in the uplift calculation may have significant economic repercussions. Inaccuracies may occur when using generic suction factors rather than a site-specific assessment using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) technology. This paper presents preliminary research conducted to determine whether potential cost savings warrant more complex CFD modeling. Preliminary results comparing a two-dimensional case of an exposed geomembrane (which was used to develop generic suction factors commonly used to evaluate wind uplift) indicate the wind uplift forces calculated from a CFD model resulted in tensions that were significantly less than those using generic suction factors. Preliminary research was performed with the intention of employing CFD modeling to refine the simple prescription of generic suction factors on a site-specific basis.

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Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Keaton Botelho
  • All Authors: Keaton Botelho, P.E., Oliver Heynes, PhD, J.P. Giroud, PhD
  • Title: Evaluating Wind Uplift for Exposed Geomembranes Using Computer Modeling
  • Event or Publication: Geosynthetics 2013
  • Practice Areas: Waste Containment Facility Planning and Design, Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, Surface Water/Groundwater Supply Studies and Development
  • Date: 2013
  • Location: Long Beach, CA