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