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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Earth Science

Undergraduate Course: Hydrogeology 2: Simulation of Groundwater Flow and Transport (EASC10126)

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
SummaryThis 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.
Course description The 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.

Further Course Information
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Applied Hydrogeology and Near Surface Geophysics (EASC10101) OR Hydrogeology 1: Applied Hydrogeology (EASC10082)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements In rare cases progress to this course is allowed without EASC10082 in consultation with the course organsiser
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% Course Work

The first assignment involves the students collecting their own data, and developing a conceptual model of groundwater flow and mass transport based Braid Hills park, neighbouring the Kings Buildings Campus. The students are to construct a conceptual model to investigate a source, pathway receptor issue relating to landfill contamination into Braid burn, and a surface run off hazard. As part of this they develop 3D conceptual groundwater flow and mass transport models, parts of which are then used in a numerical modelling software pack to simulate the impact of a proposed well construction. The second assignment looks at groundwater resource competition in a coastal aquifer, particularly the issue of the amount of fresh water extraction which is sustainable, 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. For students particularly interested in geothermal applications, it is possible to expand the scope of the coastal aquifer scenario to investigate advective heat transport.
Each assignment is to be limited to 5 pages A4 with graphics. The numerical models are to be built using OpenGeoSys. (

**Field Excursion for AY 2023: Tuesday 31st January 2023, 13:30-16:30**

Assessment Deadlines
Braid Hills Groundwater Flow Model due by 12.00 on Monday, Flexible Learning Week, 20.2.2023. Electronic copy to be submitted via Turnitin.
Generic Scenario: Coastal Water Management by 12.00 on Thursday, Week 10, 30.03.2023 . Electronic copy to be submitted via Turnitin.

All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of GeoSciences General Information Handbook
No Exam Information
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
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Chris McDermott
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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