THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2021/2022

Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Applied Hydrogeology and Near Surface Geophysics (EASC10101)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryStudents will gain a knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of applied hydrogeology and the application of near surface geophysical techniques for the characterisation of the subsurface. They will gain an understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles behind the development of conceptual hydrogeological models. They will cover a range of standard techniques for the investigation of hydrogeological parameters. They will be knowledgeable and skilled in the use of numerical data to solve issues in hydrogeology and near-surface geophysics.

In addition they will be able to use both analytical and graphical techniques to predict the movement of groundwater and containment transport, as well as be able to produce water balances for catchment areas. Through group-based case studies on real life problems, which the students will present the applicability of the subject area, its use and its limit are demonstrated. Completing these projects will require the students to appreciate the distribution of groundwater in different hydrogeological environments, requiring a synoptic understanding of hard rock and surface geology, facies interpretation and material characteristics. Finally accompanying the lecture series, reference is made to the uncertainty particularly of conceptual models and their applicability.

This course will also give students a flavour of geophysical techniques used to explore the shallow sub-surface, especially regarding contamination and pollution: the methods available, how surveys are conducted, how the data are processed and modelled, and the interpretation.
Teaching will proceed via lectures, tutorials, and group work. Through group-based studies on real-world problems, students will gain experience in the applicability of the subject area, and the limitations of techniques.
Course description The following topics will be covered:
- Introduction to Applied Geoscience Foundations
- Soil description for Applied Geoscience Purposes
- Aquifer Investigation Techniques
- Physical property contrasts
- Electromagnetic methods, including EM34, VLF.
- Resistivity, self-potential and induced polarisation/complex resistivity methods
- Magnetics.
- Gravity.
- Ground probing radar.
- Seismic refraction.
- Field data acquisition, processing and interpretation
- Groundwater Flow
- Groundwater Geochemistry
- Case studies for Groundwater Issues
- Modelling Groundwater Flow
- Contaminant Transport
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2021/22, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: 40%

This comprises two assessments:

An essay at week 3 on a topical hydrogeology related research theme (choose 1 of 11 options) and a group presentation per theme. The students have 3 weeks to complete the essay. The essay has a 1000-word limit and expectation of modest extra reading, between 4-10 references per essay. The essay and presentation accounts for 10% of the course work.

Geophysical field report due at week 11. The students will submit a report on data either gathered from their Blackford hill excursion or utilizing data gathered from previous years┬┐ excursions. Students are required to process, model, interpret, and write-up the gathered data. This assessment accounts for 30% of the course mark.

Two field excursions:

1. Cramond field excursion: Afternoon field excursion (possible virtual field excursion) to the River almond to describe a range of rock and soil types in the field using BS 5930, the British Standards Institution code of practice for site investigations. (Students travel independently to the field site).

2. Blackford Hill excursion: Afternoon field excursion to Blackford hill to gather geophysical data for the geophysical report due on week 11.
Feedback Weekly tutorials for discussion of voluntary class work and exercises accompanying lecture notes.
In class discussion of unclear points.
Weekly tutorials and test questions.
Student presentation.
Feedback on student essay making 10% of class mark.
Field course for sample description.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the impact of geology on groundwater flow and distribution, describe a geological material according to its engineering relevant characteristics (BS5930)
  2. Understand the geochemistry and the classifications of groundwater, key hydraulic parameters such as permeability, hydraulic conductivity, and how they relate to the material and fluid parameters
  3. Understand the key concepts of contaminant transport (diffusion, dispersion, sorption, decay) and use analytical solutions to model groundwater flow and mass transport
  4. Understand the application of near surface geophysical techniques for aquifer characterisation including application of Electromagnetic methods, including EM34, VLF, Resistivity, self-potential and induced polarisation/complex resistivity methods, magnetic techniques, gravity techniques and introduction to ground probing radar.
  5. Design geophysical surveys for subsurface investigation (e.g. profile spacing, sampling rate along profile). Field data acquisition, processing and interpretation.
Reading List
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
Reynolds, J M, An Introduction to Applied and Environmental Geophysics, Wiley-Blackwell
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsHydrogeology,Geophysics
Contacts
Course organiserDr Chris McDermott
Tel:
Email: christopher.mcdermott@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMs Katerina Sykioti
Tel: (0131 6)50 5430
Email: Katerina.Sykioti@ed.ac.uk
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