Principles of Groundwater Flow

Principles of Groundwater Flow
Lecturer(s): Dr. R.J. Schotting
The importance of groundwater as a resource and as a critical component in many
environmental issues is widely recognized. Groundwater hydrology is a rapidly evolving
science and plays a key role in understanding a variety of subsurface processes.
This course introduces the basic principles and methods necessary to quantify flow of
water and transport of solutes through saturated porous media. In addition, students will
be introduced to basic numerical methods and (professional) software for simulating
groundwater flow.
A. Origin of porosity and permeability
continental and marine environments, uplift, diagenesis, erosion, tectonism,
fractures, continuum approach, REV-concept
B. Groundwater movement
Darcy’s law, hydraulic head, hydraulic conductivity, pore pressure, anisotropy,
Dupuit’s assumptions, mapping of flow, flow in fractured media
C. Flow equations, boundary conditions, and flow nets
Mass conservation, storage properties of porous media, Boussinesq
approximation, initial and boundary conditions, flow nets, dimensional analysis,
analytical solutions
D. Driving forces for groundwater flow
Topography, basin geometry and geology, coastal regions, pumping, engineering
and geologic implications
E. Hydraulic testing and geophysical methods
Pumping tests, slug tests, geo-electric methods, GPR, seismic methods
F. Groundwater flow simulation
Modelling approaches (schematisation), simulation, evaluation model results,
model verification and validation , finite differences, grids, integration in time,
initial and boundary conditions, computer models
G. Particle tracking
Charles R. Fitts, Groundwater science, 1st Ed., 583 Pages, John Wiley & Sons, 2003.
ISBN 0-471-13785-5
Essential: BSc. or equivalent degree in (Earth) Sciences, Applied Sciences, or related
fields; basic knowledge of physics, calculus, ordinary and partial differential equations.
Useful background: basic knowledge of hydrology, introductory geology and/or
environmental sciences.