Ground-Water Hydrology

Spring, 2004


Ground-water hydrology, or hydrogeology, focuses on the occurrence, movement, and chemistry of water beneath the Earth's surface. It is a very complex science because of the variable nature of earth materials. We will be examining the physical properties of these materials and how they interact with fluid flow (water). At times it may seem more like "hydrophysics" because of the number of mathematical equations that are used to quantify the movement of water but you need no more that algebra to understand the fundamentals of hydrogeology. The goal of this component is to leave you with an new understanding of ground-water so that you can visualize its occurrence and movement, even if you can't see it.

The reading and homework are very important and must be completed outside of class. Depending on your background, some of the concepts and calculations may be very unfamiliar and it will take time to understand them. The reading it the first step, lecture is the second step, workshop is the third step, and the homework problems are the final part of this process.

Fetter, C. W., 2001, Applied Hydrogeology (Fourth Edition): Prentice-Hall, Inc., New Jersey.
ISBN 0-13-088239-9

Lecture Thursday 1:30 - 3:30 Lecture Hall 5, Workshop 4 - 5 CAL

Week Topic Reading (Fetter)
1 & 2 Water & Hydrologic Cycle Chapters 1 & 2 (1-60)
3 Properties of Aquifers
Introduction, porosity, specific yield, Darcy's experiment, hydraulic conductivity, permeability
Chapter 3 (p. 66-93)
4 Properties of Aquifers
Water table, potentiometric surfaces, aquifers, aquifer characteristics, compressibility, homogeneity, isotropy
Chapter 3 (p. 93-108)
5 Principles of Ground-Water Flow
Hydraulic head, Darcy's law, equations for ground-water flow, flow lines and flow nets, steady flow in confined and unconfined aquifers
Chapter 4 (p. 125-146)
6 Ground-water Flow to Wells
Computing drawdown, of confined and unconfined aquifers, slug tests
Chapter 5 (p. 150-166)
7 Ground-water Flow to Wells Chapter 5 (p. 166-213)
8 Soil Moisture and Ground-Water Recharge
Porosity and water content of soils, capillary fringe, soil water, unsaturated flow, water table recharge
Chapter 6 (p. 219-234)
9 Regional Ground-Water Flow
Unconfined aquifers, confined aquifers, transient flow
Chapter 7 (p. 236-278)
10 Exam