Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Evapotranspiration Covers; Hyperspectral; Landfill; Leachate; Plants


"Solid waste and leachate generation from solid waste landfills has a legacy of detrimental and toxic impacts on the environment. Disposal practices are expensive, failure prone and have not been able to keep up with the pace of disposal of toxic compounds. In general, a landfill acts as a "bathtub" with infiltration of water through the landfill cover into the landfill, reacting with the waste and transferring toxic components into the leachate. Irrigating the evapotranspiration (ET) covers with leachate collected from the landfill has been developed and applied. Such methods can keep the leached pollutants in a loop, which reduces the risk of leachate contamination of nearby aquifers. Utilizing trees and grasses on ET covers as a means of phytoremediation and stabilization of pollutants, while controlling erosion, is a step towards an efficient and sustainable remediation of landfill systems. Assessment of plant health and stress is critical for optimizing these systems and to avoid mortality of plants and total failure of phytotechnologies and phytoremediation systems. Leachate application rates should provide better treatment efficiency, but not cause toxicity.

Hyperspectral measurements for monitoring plant health and stress were included in this study. Hyperspectral results revealed that plant stress can be sensed remotely, which correlates with destructive testing methods such as biomass measurements. This study provides multiple findings of importance in assessing plant stress while maintaining effective treatment, with low labor costs and the ability to cover large areas rapidly. This study also suggests that remote sensing can be applied to detect plant stress caused by fugitive leachate plumes, thereby mitigating the potential threat to human health and ecological damages from these plumes that would often go unnoticed"--Abstract, page iii.


Burken, Joel G. (Joel Gerard)

Committee Member(s)

Fitch, Mark W.
Guggenberger, Joe D.
Westenberg, David J.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Environmental Engineering


National Science Foundation (U.S.)
United States. Forest Service


Funding provided by National Science Foundation Award #1355406 The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants, & Community and US Forest Service Award 0049996: Collaborative Data Assessment & Phytoforensic Analysis for Organic Leachate Pollutants


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Spring 2017


xi, 111 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 91-110).


© 2017 Rahul Sukharia

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Thesis Number

T 11121

Electronic OCLC #