Groundwater Hydrology

Subject ENEN90030 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 60 hours (Lectures: 48 hours per semester; Laboratory Sessions: 6 hours per semester; Tutorials: 6 hours per semester)
Total Time Commitment:

200 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Knowledge from the following subjects will assist with learning in this subject:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Non Allowed Subjects:

Students cannot enrol in and gain credit for this subject and:

421-491 Quantification of Physical Processes B


CVEN90014 Hydrological Processess 2

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Stephan Matthai


Prof. Stephan Matthai

Subject Overview:


This subject covers theoretical and practical aspects of groundwater flow, and groundwater contaminant transport. The subject includes the field methods to characterise aquifers, the modelling of groundwater flow, and transport of, pollutants through porous media and reactions. The subject takes students fundamental knowledge of advanced differential calculus and flow processes and applies them to movement of pollutants in groundwater systems. Techniques learnt in this course may be applied in capstone design and research projects.

Concepts and techniques learnt in the subject are directly applicable to contemporary industry issues such contaminant movement through soils from poor historical industrial practice, the design and performance prediction of containment structures such as sanitary landfills or carbon dioxide geo-sequestration projects. The growth of manipulation of geological strata for coal seam gas extraction is another burgeoning area of industrial application of the learning of this subject.


Specific topics include:

  • Groundwater flow in saturated aquifer systems
  • Characterisation of acquifer systems using various hydraulic tests
  • Numerical solution of groundwater flow
  • Groundwater flow in the vadose zone
  • Characterisation of unconfined aquifer systems
  • Mass transport in saturated media
  • Transformation, retardation and attenuation of solutes
  • Organic/inorganic compounds in groundwater
  • Nonaqueous-phase liquids in groundwater
  • Introduction to site remediation.

Learning Outcomes:


On completion of this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Design hydrogeological tests to obtain basic aquifer parameters
  2. Compute groundwater flow and contaminant transport in porous media
  3. Identify major sources and types of groundwater contamination
  4. Recognize chemical reactions and biodegradation of groundwater contaminants
  5. Quantitatively assess the fate of contaminants via modelling
  6. Design basic site remediation.
  • Three reports (64%) totalling 2500-words, due throughout the semester and requiring approximately 80 hours of work. Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) 1, 2, 5 and 6 are addressed in these reports
  • Three 20-minute quizzes (6%) held throughout the semester. ILOs 1 to 5 are adddressed in these quizzes
  • One 2-hour examination (30%) held end of semester. ILOs 1 to 6 are addressed in this examination.
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Fetter C.W. (2000). Applied Hydrogeology. Prentice Hall.
Fetter C.W. (2008). Contaminant Hydrogeology. Waveland Pr Inc.
Freeze R. A. and Cherry J. A. (1979). Groundwater. Prentice Hall.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem identification, formulation, and solution
  • Proficiency in engineering design
  • Ability to conduct an engineering project.


Key analysis methods are introduced in lectures, which are then followed up in tutorial and computer based exercises.


MODFLOW Software
Analysis Toolpak of MS Excel.
Fetter C.W. (2001). Applied hydrogeology. Upper Saddle River, N. J: Pearson Education.
Fetter C.W. (1999). Contaminant hydrogeology. Upper Saddle River, NJ:Prentice Hall.


This subject provides key skills for careers in contaminated site remediation and groundwater modelling. Data from real sites and industry standard software (MODFLOW) is used in the assignments.

Related Course(s): Doctor of Philosophy - Engineering
Master of Environmental Engineering
Master of Philosophy - Engineering
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Engineering (Civil)
Master of Engineering (Environmental)

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