Logo University of Hamburg Institute of Soil Science Logo Institute of Soil Science
  UHH > MIN Faculty > Earth Sciences > Soil Science > HELP model Suche Deutsche Version bottom of page

The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model
for Simulating the Water Balance of Landfill Liner Systems

Dr. Klaus Berger
Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg
Allende-Platz 2, 20146 Hamburg
Germany
Phone: +49 / 40 / 42838-2006; Fax: +49 / 40 / 42838-2024
e-mail: k.berger[at]ifb.uni-hamburg.de


The HELP Model

The "Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance" (HELP) model was developed since 1982 by Dr. Paul Schroeder (U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi) and several coauthors for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). HELP version 1 was released in 1984, version 2 in 1988 and version 3 in 1994 (Schroeder et al. 1994a,b), current original version (August 2013) is HELP 3.07 which is a DOS-program.

The HELP model is a "quasi-two-dimensional" layer model for estimating the water balance of open and closed landfills and especially of bottom liner and cover systems. Primary purpose is the comparison of design alternatives as judged by the water balance under the climate of the particular site. HELP models several hydrologic processes using a one-day time step. Vertical and lateral processes are combined, but a two-dimensional flow actually is not modeled (quasi-two-dimensional). Required input data are daily values of precipitation, air temperature and solar radiation of at least 1 and up to 100 complete calendar years, parameters to calculate evapotranspiration, data of soil and material properties, and data of the layer design and the site. The only vegetation considered are grasses, alternatively the soil may be bare. The layer profile must be constant during a simulation run. However, since HELP 3.80 D soil and material properties and the vegetation parameters can be changed within a simulation run, and since HELP 3.50 D the model estimates the evapotranspiration of shrubs and trees more realistically.

For ease of use HELP incorporates a data base with default soil data and the weather generator WGEN (Richardson & Wright 1984) together with a data base with parameters to calculate evapotranspiration and to generate daily weather data for locations in the USA and in Germany.

For HELP version 3 (Schroeder et al. 1994a,b) an extensive validation study under German climate was performed and the model's databases were adapted for application in Germany (Berger 1998). In the validation study limitations of HELP and errors were shown, conclusions for the user were drawn and approaches for an enhancement and further investigations needed were pointed out (see Berger 2000, 2002).

In a working group of the German Society for Geotechnics which accompanied the validation study the so called GDA-recommendation E 2-30 "Modeling the water balance of surface cover systems for landfills" (available only in German) was developed that deals with recommendations for the application of HELP in Germany. Furthermore, the working group developed the GDA-recommendations E 2-31 and E 2-32 dealing with the design of top soil layers and the vegetation.

Based on the results of the validation study and further investigations in the following years the enhanced HELP versions 3.50 D (2001), 3.55 D (2002), 3.80 D (2004), 3.90 D (2011), and HELP 3.95 D (2013) were developed. In these versions some bugs were fixed, the model was enhanced, a Windows user interface was developed and the documentation was revised.


Top of page

Enhanced Version HELP 3.95 D

In the current version HELP 3.95 D the basic Windows user interface of HELP 3.90 D was complemented and several new features were added, some of them may be of interest especially for use of HELP-D in the USA. In more detail HELP 3.95 D comprises the following new features:

  • A project manager which gives an overview of the simulation runs in a chosen directory;
  • On-line help texts in English and in German;
  • The option to store preferences like the region used for the weather generator, the unit system or the preferred model version for the particular Windows user account;
  • Optionally besides HELP 3.95 D the simulation may be performed with the current original version HELP 3.07; however, this version has been recompiled with technical adaptations to Windows to be executable under current Windows versions (see below);
  • Optionally the weather generator may be executed in its original version; however, also the weather generator has been recompiled to be executable under current Windows versions (see below);
  • Some minor enhancements of the user's interface;
  • The User's Guide was revised.

Executability under current Windows versions: HELP 3.95 D was developed and tested under Windows 7 Professional (64 Bit) and Windows XP Professional (SP3). Furthermore, the program was cursorily tested under Windows 7 Professional (32 Bit) and Windows 8 Pro (64 Bit). It should also be executable under Windows Vista; however, this could not be tested. It also could not be tested if HELP 3.95 D works with the Windows 7 and 8 Starter editions.

With the version HELP 3.90 D from October 2011 HELP-D was completely ported to Windows. The following list summarizes the main modifications compared to the previous version HELP 3.80 D and main features of HELP 3.90 D:

  • The DOS user interface was replaced by a Windows user interface which is also executable under 64-bit versions of Windows.
    The HELP model was adapted to Windows (especially path and file names may be longer than in DOS) and the weather generator was recompiled to be executable also under 64-bit Windows.
  • User interface and model output are in English; the user's guide is available in English and in German language.
  • Data input and model output may be in metric as well as in customary units as in HELP 3.07 (USA).
  • HELP-D uses the same input file formats as HELP 3.07.
  • The calculation of leap years was modified according to the Gregorian calendar.
  • The import routines of HELP 3.0x (USA) for daily weather data of North American providers (NOAA Tape, Climatedata(TM) and Canadian Climatological Data) are no longer available in HELP 3.9 D because their programs cannot be executed under 64-bit Windows.
  • The option Default Precipitation (5 years historic precipitation data) of HELP 3.0x (USA) is no longer available in HELP 3.9 D.
  • In HELP 3.9 D the same data base and the same locations to synthetically generate daily weather data and to calculate evapotranspiration are available as in HELP 3.0x (USA).
  • Due to a program modification the weather generator of HELP 3.9 D generates slightly different weather data beginning with the fifth year.
  • An option to import data from Visual HELP files with evapotranspiration parameters and daily weather data was added, developed for files of Visual HELP version 2.2.
  • The conversion factor for solar radiation from US-customary to metric units was specified more precisely. Therefore, usage of solar radiation data in metric units leads to slightly different simulation results with HELP 3.9 D.
  • The soil data bases for US-American soil textures and other materials and for user defined and German soil textures were merged. The option of the user interface to store new user defined soil textures in the soil data base is no longer available. However, the data base file can be edited outside the HELP user interface with an editor.
  • Since HELP 3.80 D the model outputs the daily, monthly and yearly simulation results as tables in separate output files for further processing in graphic or spreadsheet programs. The daily output is no longer written into the standard output file.
  • If you are familiar with the original HELP 3.0x you should find HELP 3.9x D easy to use.
User interface of HELP 3.90 D under Window XP (Example)
  User interface of HELP 3.90 D under Windows XP (Example); Note: The comma as decimal separator is caused by the German Windows.

Enhancements of the HELP-D model:

Some of the sub-models were enhanced or replaced (actual evapotranspiration, vegetative growth and decay, frozen soil, unsaturated/saturated vertical flow in vertical percolation layers). Furthermore, since HELP 3.80 D HELP-D allows the user to change vegetation and soil properties within a simulation run to simulate the aging of a landfill profile for example the succession of the vegetation or the deterioration of lateral drainage layers due to clogging or of mineral liners due to desiccation and shrinkage. The following list summarizes the enhancements; detailed descriptions are given in Berger (2002) and in the supplement to the Engineering Documentation of HELP 3.9 D:

  • Two implementation errors in the sub-model of unsaturated/saturated flow in vertical percolation layers were fixed.
  • The lowest water content for unsaturated vertical flow in the evaporative zone was set to field capacity.
  • A systematic error that occurs in some designs with drainage nets directly above the uppermost liner does no longer occur in HELP since 3.55 D due to the changing of the lowest water content for vertical flow. This error leads to a drastic underestimation of evapotranspiration.
  • The frozen soil sub-model was pragmatically enhanced (shorter periods with frozen soil for Germany, freezing and thawing of the soil for just one segment per day), leading to a more realistic estimation of surface runoff and a better time distribution of lateral drainage in the drainage layer below the topsoil during and after thawing.
  • The sub-models of evapotranspiration and vegetative growth and decay were enhanced:
    • The interception sub-model was replaced by an adapted empirical model of von Hoyningen-Huene. This model was developed for several crops, includes interception storage and allows calculating the interception of vegetation with larger values of the maximum leaf area index than for grasses.
    • Some errors in the soil evaporation sub-model were fixed leading to a more realistic relation between soil evaporation and transpiration and a more realistic influence of the vegetation on evapotranspiration.
    • The implementation of the vegetative growth and decay model was completed and the decrease of plant growth due to short air (aeration stress) was added from the model EPIC. In HELP 3.80 D the vegetative decay model was enhanced.
  • Subsurface inflow into layers is no longer allowed in some cases that lead to invalid water balance results. Since HELP 3.80 D the summary output is correct also if monthly and yearly output were not selected.
  • Since version 3.80 D HELP allows the user to change vegetation and soil properties in a simulation run to simulate the aging of a landfill profile. However, the layer (type) sequence must be constant. The user can input up to 10 sets of evapotranspiration and/or soil and design data for a simulation run.

Output comparisons of HELP 3.07 and HELP 3.90 D are available for the RCRA example of HELP 3.07 for Nashville (TN) and for Hamburg (Germany) .


Top of page

Order of HELP-D

HELP 3.95 D can be ordered on account formless or with your order form (if existent) by e-mail, fax or letter to Dr. Klaus Berger, Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Allende-Platz 2, 20146 Hamburg, Germany; Fax: +49 / 40 / 42838-2024. Especially if you do not order by e-mail please state an e-mail address to which the download information or the installation files shall be delivered. It will also be used for sending the invoice and informations on upgrades.

Order procedure:

  1. Optional: You ask me for a quote (prices for HELP 3.95 D see below).
  2. You send me a purchase order (formless or on your order form depending on the requirements of your institution) by e-mail, fax or letter with the billing address and the e-mail address where to send the information for downloading and installing the software.
  3. I am sending the download information or the installation files to the e-mail address usually within 1 or 2 working days except for periods when I am absent. If you order by e-mail these periods will be indicated by a corresponding automatic reply.
  4. The administration of the University of Hamburg issues the invoice for the billing address and I am sending it to you by e-mail.
  5. After receipt of the invoice you transfer the invoiced amount preferably by bank transfer or else by sending a cheque. Other options of payment e.g. by credit card or PayPal are not available.

Prices:

HELP 3.95 D Delivery to
Germany
Delivery to the
European Union without Germany for
Delivery to the
World without European Union
Companies1 Authorities, Universities, Private Persons, ...
New Customers 178.50 EUR
(= 150.- EUR + 19 % VAT)
150.- EUR 178.50 EUR
(= 150.- EUR + 19 % VAT)
160.- EUR
Upgrade from 3.90 D2 free of charge free of charge free of charge
1 Delivery to the EU without value added tax requires that you state your value added tax identification number with your order.
2 Upgrades are only available for registered HELP-D-users.

Since April 1, 2014 upgrades from the DOS-versions of HELP-D (HELP 3.07 D to 3.80 D) are no longer available.

Special prices apply for academic teaching. Please ask for a quote for your number of seats.

Please note: Prices for HELP-D do not include administrative effort like completing vendor forms etc. If your institution requires such forms please contact me.

Scope of delivery:

HELP 3.95 D is only available electronically by download or by e-mail (about 10 MB). HELP 3.95 D comprises the program with online-help texts in English and in German and the following electronic documents in English as PDF:

  • Berger, K. & Schroeder, P.R., 2013: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. User's Guide for HELP-D (Version 3.95 D). 6th, revised edition for HELP 3.95 D. Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Germany, 74 pp.
  • Berger, K., 2012: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. Engineering Documentation for HELP 3.95 D - Enhancements beyond HELP 3.07 -. Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Germany, 10 pp.
  • Schroeder, P.R. et al., 1994: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. Engineering Documentation for Version 3. EPA/600/R-94/168b, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio, x + 116 pp.

Note on the installation: The user interface of HELP 3.95 D uses the Microsoft .NET framework 4 which is automatically installed with HELP if it is not on the computer. However, an internet connection is required for downloading the framework! (On computers with Windows 7 the .NET framework 4 is already installed. On computers with Windows 8 HELP 3.95 D obviously works with the preinstalled .NET framework 4.5. If your computer does not have an internet connection you can download a standalone installer of the .NET framework 4 from another computer with an internet connection from the Microsoft web site.) There are no further particular hardware or software requirements for HELP 3.95 D. The recommended screen resolution is 1100 x 800 pixel or larger.


Top of page

HELP-D Support

I am offering support for registered HELP-D users, preferably by e-mail. If you encounter problems, unexpected results or errors please have a detailed description with you.


Top of page

References

  • Berger, K., 1998: Validierung und Anpassung des Simulationsmodells HELP zur Berechnung des Wasserhaushalts von Deponien für deutsche Verhältnisse [Validation and Adaptation of the Simulation Model HELP for Calculating the Water Balance of Landfills for German Conditions]. Umweltbundesamt, Fachgebiet III 3.6 (PT AWAS des BMBF), Berlin, 569 pp. (in German, out of print)
  • Berger, K., 2000: Validation of the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model for Simulating the Water Balance of Cover Systems. Environmental Geology 39 (11), pp. 1261-1274 (Article in pdf format online available at Springer-Verlag)
  • Berger, K., 2002: Potential and Limitations of Applying HELP Model for Surface Covers. Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management, Vol. 6, No. 3, July 2002, pp. 192-203
  • Berger, K., 2013: Current State and Future Prospects of the Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model for Simulating the Water Balance of Landfill Liner Systems. In: Cossu, R. et al.: Proceedings Sardinia 2013, Fourteenth International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium, S. Margherita di Pula, Cagliari, Italy; 30 September - 4 October 2013; CISA Publisher; ISBN 978-88-6265-028-1. Paper 567, 15 pp.
  • Berger, K., Schroeder, P.R., 2013: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. Version HELP 3.95 D. Institute of Soil Science, University of Hamburg, Germany
    Program with online-help texts and the following electronic documents as PDF:
    • Berger, K., Schroeder, P.R., 2013: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. User's Guide for HELP-D (Version 3.95 D). 6th, revised edition for HELP 3.95 D, 74 pp.
    • Berger, K., 2012: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. Engineering Documentation for HELP 3.95 D - Enhancements beyond to HELP 3.07 -. 10 pp.
    • Schroeder, P.R. et al., 1994: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. Engineering Documentation for Version 3. EPA/600/R-94/168b, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio, x + 116 pp.
  • GDA-Empfehlung E 2-30, 2003: Modellierung des Wasserhaushalts der Oberflächenabdichtungssysteme von Deponien. Current version (in German)
  • Melchior, S., Sokollek, V., Berger, K., Vielhaber, B., Steinert, B., 2010: Results from 18 Years of In Situ Performance Testing of Landfill Cover Systems in Germany. Journal of Environmental Engineering, 136 (8), ASCE, 518-523
  • Richardson, C.W. & Wright, D.A., 1984: WGEN: A model for generating daily weather variables. ARS-8, USDA Agricultural Research Service, 83 pp.
  • Schroeder, P.R. et al., 1994a,b: The Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP) Model. 2 Volumes: (a) User's Guide for Version 3; (b) Engineering Documentation for Version 3; EPA/600/R-94/168a,b; US Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio (free download of model (DOS version) and documentation from the WES website)
  Imprint  | Last update: Wednesday, 2014-10-08 by Webmaster top of page