Postgraduate Course: Hydrogeological Environments and Characterisation (PGGE11278)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course develops the students understanding of hydrogeological environments, recognising how different geological settings influence subsurface flow characteristics. The course provides a practical introduction to the main characterisation and analysis techniques, with an emphasis on applying current concepts, methods and technologies for ground water resource assessment in the context of different applied problems.
Hydrogeologists study the subsurface flow of water and its interaction with the surrounding geology and applying this understanding to practical uses such as wells for drinking water, pollution monitoring and clean-up and harnessing geothermal energy. They are at the forefront of many of today┐s important issues including sustainable water supply, food and energy production, environmental protection and climate change.
The course lectures which develop the students┐ knowledge base with advancing concepts that are supported by practical field sessions, laboratory tests, analysis and report writing aimed at developing technical, interpretation and reporting skills and encourage critical thinking. Integration of the concepts developed in the taught programme is facilitated through student centred investigations of current issues linked to a range of hydrogeological environments. The students will develop a sound understanding of the geological controls on groundwater hydraulics, and the full range of laboratory and field tests to characterise the hydrogeological environments within the subsurface.
Proposed course outline:
Unit 1: Fluid Flow in Aquifers and Aquicludes. The students learn to identify what type of aquifer or aquitard is present and evaluate the key flow characteristics. The lecture content will include:
How to characterise a porous aquifer;
How to characterise a porous aquifer;
How to characterise a fractured porous aquifer;
What key features control the flow of fluid?
What key features control the flow of fluid distribution of contamination?
Unit 2: Applied groundwater Hydrochemistry. The students learn to identify the geochemistry and reactivity within the hydrological system. The lecture content will include:
pH, EC, Solubility of Solids and Gasses, REDOX
Solution and precipitation
Mixing of Groundwaters
Adsorption and Ion Exchange
NAPL & DNAPL
Application of PIPER & Stiff Diagrams
Unit 3: Groundwater in the field. The students learn to relate aquifer permeability to heterogeneity and evaluate appropriate GW field sampling techniques. The lecture content will include:
Heterogeneity and how it influences flow;
How it can measured in the field;
Representative elemental volumes statistical measurements of heterogeneity.
Unit 4: Hydrogeological Environments. The students will understand, interpret and evaluate a wide range of different geological scenarios and environments and relate these geological and sedimentological controls to groundwater flow and chemistry. The lecture content will include:
Alluvial in tectonic Valleys
Consolidated Sedimentary Rocks
Arid and Semi-arid
Unit 5: Fresh Water - Saline Water Relationship. The students will appraise the dynamic freshwater / marine hydrological environment. The lecture content will include:
Mathematical relationships to appraise
Active and passive saline water encroachment and
Tidal effects. This topic will be covered in week 6 by CMcD and include lectures with tutorial and exercises to consolidate their learning.
Unit 6: Industrial Legacy (Coal, Shale, Ironstone, Mineral). The students will evaluate the impact of our industrial legacy on groundwater resources. The lecture content will include:
A case study of the Almond Catchment;
Geochemistry of mine water releases &
Unit 7: Urban-Hydrogeology. The students will evaluate the impact of the urban environment on the hydrogeology. The lecture content will include:
Altered water balances;
Recharge from sewers;
Holistic modelling approaches &
Unit 8: Characterisation Techniques. The students will appraise the methods and technologies for subsurface characterisation to select different characterisation techniques to evaluate subsurface fluid flow and evaluate their suitability in different hydrogeological environments in the context of different applied problems. The lecture content will include:
Well testing &
Well logs and formation evaluation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Basic knowledge of geology and maths to satisfaction of CO
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Predict the key flow characteristics within aquifers or aquitards.
- Evaluate different geological settings and scenarios and relate these to ground water flow characteristics.
- Appraise the relationships between aquifer permeability and heterogeneity and design appropriate field sampling techniques.
- Recognise and appraise the most suitable characterisation techniques to evaluate subsurface fluid flow in different hydrogeological environments in the context of different applied problems.
- Prepare a hydrogeology assessment report to industry standard guidelines.
|Freeze, R.A. and Cherry, J.A. Groundwater |
Fetter, C.W. Applied Hydrogeology
Weight, W.D. Practical Hydrogeology: Principles and Field Applications
Singhal, B.B.S and Gupta, R.P. Applied hydrogeology of fractured rocks.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course will equip our graduates with a wide range of skills including;
A good level of mathematical, analytical and modelling skills.
Problem solving and practical hands on skills.
Capacity to evaluate complex data and to extrapolate conclusions from incomplete data.
Critical and reflective thinkers, some subsurface technologies are controversial, all require expert knowledge to assess independently.
Organised with good project management skills and a flexible approach to work.
Skilled communicators, both oral and written
Ability to work well within a team
|Course organiser||Dr Chris McDermott
|Course secretary||Mrs Kathryn McPhail
Tel: (0131 6)51 4351