Fundamentals of Hydrogeology

Online course

50 hours / 6 weeks

Dates: to be determined


Hydrogeology is the study of the interrelationships of geologic materials and processes with water, especially groundwater (Fetter, 2001). By this definition, Fetter (2001) implies long periods of “geologic time” during which steady-state or equilibrium conditions can be reached in a groundwater system. Alternatively, Domenico and Schwartz (1990) present hydrogeology as the study of the laws governing the movement of subterranean water, the mechanical, chemical, and thermal interaction of this water with the porous solid, and the transport of energy and chemical constituents by the flow. Hydrogeology involves generalization and specificity, qualitative science and quantitative engineering concepts to describe four-dimensional physical and chemical components of a subsurface system.

The science and engineering of hydrogeology has many important applications in water resources, ranging from municipal water supply to understanding the transport of environmental contaminants. The course will introduce students to basic hydrogeological principles including groundwater’s role in the hydrologic cycle, properties of aquifers, principles of flow in porous media, well hydraulics, applications of analytical solutions to steady-state and unsteady-state groundwater problems, and basic groundwater chemistry. Emphasis will be placed on solving problems that are faced by geologists, hydrogeologists, and civil engineers.


Course materials will prepare professionals to engage in hydrogeological assessments, problem-solving, and groundwater resources management. It specifically helps them to:

  • Understand fundamental hydrogeological terminology
  • Conceptualize hydrogeological systems
  • Quantify groundwater flow
  • Assess groundwater chemistry and groundwater quality issues
  • Characterize groundwater systems from aquifer tests
  • Plan and manage groundwater extraction

Limited places.


Module 1: Groundwater Resources Overview (5 hrs)


Module 2: Physical Hydrogeology

  • Groundwater Terminology and Aquifer Properties (5 hrs)
  • Hydrogeological System Conceptualization (5 hrs)
  • Principles of Groundwater Flow (10 hrs)


Module 3: Chemical Hydrogeology

  • Natural and Inorganic Hydrogeochemistry (5 hrs)
  • Water Quality Monitoring (5 hrs)
  • Groundwater Contamination and Organic Compounds (5 hrs)


Module 4: Groundwater Resource Evaluation

  • Aquifer Characterization and Hydraulics (10 hrs)
  • Groundwater Production and Extraction (5 hrs)
  • Water Resources Management (5 hrs)

Dr. Kyle E. Murray

The course content is developed and presented by Dr. Kyle E. Murray, who has worked as a consultant and academic researcher for more than 20 years with a special interest in regional-scale water management challenges.  Dr. Murray earned an MS in Hydrogeology from Wright State University in 1997, and a PhD in Geological Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in 2003.  Dr. Murray has conducted field investigations, analyzed data with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), conducted and supervised groundwater modeling studies, served as an expert in natural resources studies, and provided litigation support for hydrogeological, environmental, and seismological matters.

Course material is presented through video tutorials and multimedia content within the Moodle virtual platform.  Exercises involve interpretation and analysis of practical case studies and published hydrogeologic data.

This course is designed to provide a foundation of knowledge for geologists, environmental scientists, and engineers working on groundwater related projects.  Course content is suitable as an introduction to the topic of hydrogeology and for cross-training of students, consultants, regulators, and other professionals with varied backgrounds.

As evidence of knowledge gained throughout the course, a certificate will be issued from the Virtual platform. This certificate is based on the modern technology Blockchain, which increases security, prevents fraud, builds trust and ensures you’re ready for the future.

Training provided in this course can complement previous academic training and work experience for entry level consultants, regulators, and industry professionals.  Careers in the environmental industry, water resources exploration and development, and water resources management could be advanced with skills obtained in hydrogeological coursework.


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