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Semester 1

Applied Hydrogeology and Near Surface Geophysics (EASC10101)


Earth Science





Normal Year Taken


Delivery Session Year



Course Summary

Students will gain a knowledge that covers and integrates most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of applied hydrogeology and the application of near surface geophysical techniques for the characterisation of the subsurface. They will gain an understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles behind the development of conceptual hydrogeological models. They will cover a range of standard techniques for the investigation of hydrogeological parameters. They will be knowledgeable and skilled in the use of numerical data to solve issues in hydrogeology and near-surface geophysics.In addition they will be able to use both analytical and graphical techniques to predict the movement of groundwater and containment transport, as well as be able to produce water balances for catchment areas. Through group-based case studies on real life problems, which the students will present the applicability of the subject area, its use and its limit are demonstrated. Completing these projects will require the students to appreciate the distribution of groundwater in different hydrogeological environments, requiring a synoptic understanding of hard rock and surface geology, facies interpretation and material characteristics. Finally accompanying the lecture series, reference is made to the uncertainty particularly of conceptual models and their applicability.This course will also give students a flavour of geophysical techniques used to explore the shallow sub-surface, especially regarding contamination and pollution: the methods available, how surveys are conducted, how the data are processed and modelled, and the interpretation.Teaching will proceed via lectures, tutorials, and group work. Through group-based studies on real-world problems, students will gain experience in the applicability of the subject area, and the limitations of techniques.

Course Description

The following topics will be covered:- Introduction to Applied Geoscience Foundations- Soil description for Applied Geoscience Purposes- Aquifer Investigation Techniques- Physical property contrasts- Electromagnetic methods, including EM34, VLF.- Resistivity, self-potential and induced polarisation/complex resistivity methods- Magnetics.- Gravity.- Ground probing radar.- Seismic refraction.- Field data acquisition, processing and interpretation- Groundwater Flow- Groundwater Geochemistry- Case studies for Groundwater Issues- Modelling Groundwater Flow- Contaminant Transport

Assessment Information

Written Exam 60%, Coursework 40%, Practical Exam 0%

Additional Assessment Information

Coursework: 40% This comprises two assessments: An essay at week 3 on a topical hydrogeology related research theme (choose 1 of 11 options) and a group presentation per theme. The students have 3 weeks to complete the essay. The essay has a 1000-word limit and expectation of modest extra reading, between 4-10 references per essay. The essay and presentation accounts for 10% of the course work. Geophysical field report due at week 11. The students will submit a report on data either gathered from their Blackford hill excursion or utilizing data gathered from previous years excursions. Students are required to process, model, interpret, and write-up the gathered data. This assessment accounts for 30% of the course mark. Two field excursions: 1. Cramond field excursion: Afternoon field excursion (possible virtual field excursion) to the River almond to describe a range of rock and soil types in the field using BS 5930, the British Standards Institution code of practice for site investigations. (Students travel independently to the field site).2. Blackford Hill excursion: Afternoon field excursion to Blackford hill to gather geophysical data for the geophysical report due on week 11.

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