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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Topical themes in GeoEngineering (PGGE11279)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course develops the students understanding of how to design and implement coupled process multiphysics model simulations to address topical geoengineering problems. The course provides a practical introduction to hydrogeology risk based analysis, environmental impact assessments and remediation technologies, with an emphasis on applying current concepts, methods and technologies for ground water resource assessment for different geological settings, physical domains and exploitation proposals. The course lectures will be supplemented by specialist guest lecturers introducing students to the UK hydrogeological research and industry community.
Course description Provide an academic description, and outline of the content covered by the course and a description of the learning experience students can expect to get.

All geoengineering activities involving utilisation of subsurface resources, such as geothermal energy, carbon capture and storage and energy storage will cause changes in the subsurface hydrogeology. Hydrogeologists must assess the impact of these changes and take steps to minimise their impact. This course will cover current environmental legislation and regulations along with the environment impact assessment and risk assessments, which are the framework within which all geoengineering activities must take place. The course will introduce regional groundwater flow modelling within a variety of different geoengineering scenarios; to refine skills in conceptualising groundwater systems from limited data; and to introduce professional groundwater modelling software use computers to model groundwater flow, chemistry and temperature according to geological formations, surface water flow and man-made influence.

The course lectures, which develop the students¿ knowledge base with advancing concepts that, are supported by practical numerical modelling and report writing. This is 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 geoengineering applications.

Proposed course outline:

Unit 1: Environmental legislations and risk assessment. The students evaluate the current environmental legislation and regulations along with the environment impact assessment and risk assessments, which are the framework within which all geoengineering activities must take place. . The lecture content will include:

Water regulations and legislation

Environmental impact assessment

Risk assessment

Unit 2: Multiphysics codes: Coupled Process Modelling. The students will be introduced to coupled process modelling to refine their skills in conceptualising groundwater systems from limited data; and to introduce OpenGeoSys (OGS) multiphysics modelling software. The lecture content will include:

Code architecture;

Using OGS &

The use of benchmarks.

Unit 3: Structure Single Process Simulations. The students will develop understanding of benchmarks and evaluate modelling single process simulations and explore how heat, stress, strain and multiphase fluids add a further degree of complexity. The lecture content will include:

Physics, Parameters, Equations, Benchmarks, Simulation

Groundwater Flow to a Well (Confined Aquifer, Unconfined Aquifer)

Mass Transport (Column experiment)

Heat Transport to a Well

Stress and Strain during Excavation

Unit 4: From rainwater to aquifer. The students will explore the influence of changing chemistry within the hydrological environment using the industry standard code PhreeqC to appraise changes in groundwater chemistry under a range of geoengineering scenarios. The lecture content will include:

Geochemical modelling using PhreeqC

Rain water and mineral equilibration

Reactive transport simulation

Unit 5: Regulation and risk assessment based on coupled process simulations. The students will be introduced to the range of methodologies to assess the impact of geoengineering activities. The lecture content will include:

Source Pathway Receptor Evaluation

Bottom Up // Top Down // Expert Elicitation // Bow Ties // FEP¿s

Student exercise on E-Geobattery

Guest Lecture: Use of Coupled Process Models For De-risking Radioactive Waste Disposal

Unit 6: Coupled process simulations. The students will be introduced to coupled process modelling and evaluate the impact of coupling the effects of thermal (T), hydraulic (H) and mechanical (M) changes during geoengineering activities. The lecture content will include:

Saline Water Ingression in Coastal Environment

Geothermal Reservoir

Plume migration from E-Geobattery

Unit 7: Monitoring and mitigation on coupled process simulations. The students will appraise the methods and technologies for geoengineering monitoring and mitigation. The lecture content will include:

Review of the current monitoring and mitigations strategies within the risk assessment framework;

Monitoring technologies;

Mitigation strategy case studies

Scenario includes Natural Barrier, Reservoir, Village, Stream, Process (Sensitivity analysis)

Unit 8: Remediation. The students will appraise the methods and technologies for remediation and contaminant clean up and evaluate their suitability in different geoengineering settings. The lecture content will include:

Review of the current remediation technologies;

Remediation strategy case studies.

Unit 9: Social licence to operate. The students will appraise the level of acceptance or approval by local communities and stakeholders of organisations and their operations.

Unit 10: Seminar Series. A seminar series of invited talks by specialists in a range of complex real world geoengineering problems will supplement the course content. Planned seminars include:

Radioactive Waste Storage in Crystaline Rocks Fluid Flow and Mass Transport in Fractures

Groundwater Management in Coastal Aquifers Saline Water Ingression & Mixing

Geothermal Reservoirs

E-Geobattery, Heat Storage & Recovery in Legacy Coal Working

Compressed Air Storage

Hydrogen Storage in Salt Caverns

Fluid Injection in Deep Aquifers
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesBasic knowledge of geology and maths to satisfaction of CO
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework.«br /»
The assessment will be a poster on the students chosen geoengineering application. It will be peer reviewed and marked. The individual components of the assessment directly link to the first four learning outcomes and the poster itself is learning outcome 5.
Feedback During the course, two of the components of the assessment, the risk assessment and the monitoring and mitigation sensitivity analysis will be submitted for formative feedback.

Over 80% of the course content has associated tutorials and practical sessions, most directly aligned with their assessment poster. This provides students with ongoing opportunities to consolidate their learning and provide continuous in-class feedback and the provision of in-class support to provide clarification if required.

Informal class discussions will be included within the course, teaching allowing both the exchange of ideas, and feedback on knowledge levels and on the presentation ideas
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Interpret environmental regulations in the context of environmental impact assessments.
  2. Use complex Multiphysics codes and coupled process modelling software
  3. Recognise and appraise the most monitoring and mitigations techniques to minimise the impact of geoengineering applications
  4. Evaluate and choose the most suitable remediation plan
  5. Prepare a poster and communicate its contents to an informed audience for a geoengineering application
Reading List
Additional Information
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, using both industry standard and academic software packages.

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 and 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.
KeywordsHydrogeology,geoengineering,numerical modelling,THMC,coupled process modelling,OGS
Course organiserDr Katriona Edlmann
Tel: (0131 6)50 7339
Course secretaryMrs Lauren Blackman
Tel: (0131 6)50 2624
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