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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Hydrogeology 2: Simulation of Groundwater Flow and Transport (EASC10077)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course should enable students to:

1. develop a hydrogeological conceptual model into a predictive model of groundwater, contaminant and heat flow and transport;
2. understand the key principles behind most numerical models of flow and transport, applicable well beyond the field of hydrogeology;
3. understand the concepts of the development of the partial differential balance equations describing groundwater flow, solute and heat transport;
4. understand the key constraints required for solving the balance equations including different boundary conditions, initial conditions, source terms, time control, mesh generation;
5. have a good understanding of the finite difference, finite element and finite volume methods of solving the balance equations;
6. be trained in the use of a standard industry groundwater and solute transport model code and a research code including heat transport and coupled process modelling (Visual Modflow and OpenGeoSys);
7. be able to apply the numerical models to groundwater resources management problems addressing real life issues;
8. understand calibration, validation, sensitivity analysis and verification; and
9. understand the limitations of the approaches and how to deal with uncertainty.

Course description This course concentrates on the modelling of groundwater flow in the saturated zone. The techniques of finite difference, finite element and finite volume analysis will be presented and practical exercises on contamination transport in a groundwater management situation given. Saline water ingression in a coastal aquifer will be modelled using OpenGeoSys ( a world leading research code for environmental simulations. At the end of the course the students should have experience in groundwater modelling and contaminant transport and be able to understand the workings and needs of any groundwater modelling package. It is advisable to have studied Hydrogeology 1. However it is possible to take the course without this background as long as you are prepared to put in extra effort.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Hydrogeology 1: Applied Hydrogeology (EASC10082) OR Applied Hydrogeology and Near Surface Geophysics (EASC10101)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements No maths qualifications required but expect a lot of maths.
Additional Costs None.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 63 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 40 %, Coursework 60 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 40%, Course Work: 60 %, Practical Exam: 0%.

Written exam lasts one hour, contains three questions, the student selects one of the three questions to answer in detail. The course work looks at groundwater resource competition in a coastal aquifer, particularly the issue of the amount of fresh water extraction and potential saline water intrusion. The student should create a numerical model based on geological data to address the groundwater management issues. The results of the model are used to guide the formulation of an expert opinion on the suitability of the development of a new well field within an aquifer for water resource extraction and its potential impact on existing extraction rights.
Maximum 2000 words, 6 pages A4 with graphics, construction of numerical model using OpenGeoSys. (

Braid hills groundwater flow model 14/02/2018
Generic Scenario: Coastal water management 2/04/2018

Feedback On going tutorial and course work.
Field excursion to Braid hills for construction of conceptual groundwater flow model.
Weekly discussions in class
One assessed exercises with feedback contributing towards final exam mark.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)1:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. At the end of this course students should understand the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of groundwater and solute transport modelling.
  2. They should have a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles and a detailed knowledge and understanding of converting a conceptual hydrogeological model into a numerical model which can then be used to predict the behaviour
  3. They will be introduced to the three main grid based methodologies of solving the partial differential balance equations describing groundwater, solute and energy advective diffusive transport, on hand of established industry standard models, a research code and excel spreadsheets demonstrating the principles.
  4. Accompanying the course they are required to complete a number of practical based assignments including a scenario assessment requiring the use of the Accompanying the course they are required to complete a number of practical based assignments including a scenario assessment requiring the use of the techniques learnt and an assessment of uncertainty in the modelling techniques and parameterisation.
  5. They should be able to make judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources. They will be introduced to complex ethical and professional issues and recognise the limits of the approaches which can be taken.
Reading List
Anderson, M and Woessner, William: Applied Groundwater Modelling, Simulation of Flow and Advective Transport, 381 pages, Academic Press; 1st edition (1991) ISBN-10: 0120594854, ISBN-13: 978-0120594856
H. F. Wang & M. P. Anderson 1981. Introduction to Groundwater Modeling. Finite Difference & Finite Element Methods. x + 237 pp., numerous figs and tables. San Francisco: Freeman. ISBN 0 7167 1303 9.
Freeze, R .A. and J.A. Cherry (1979): Groundwater.- Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs
Fetter, C.W. (2001): Applied Hydrogeology.- Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs
Fetter, C.W. (1993): Contaminant Hydrogeology. - Macmillan Publishing Company, New York; S. 458
McDermott, C.I. Inside Finite Elements for Outsiders. (Available on WebCT)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Room 304B, Grant Institute
Course organiserDr Chris Mcdermott
Course secretaryMiss Eilein Fraser
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
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