Applied Groundwater Modelling

The short course is designed to provide participants with principles and procedures of groundwater modelling and the use of computer models for groundwater resources management and protection.

For whom?

Postgraduates and professionals in hydrogeology and water resources management, civil engineers, environmental engineers, geologists and hydrologists who are engaged in investigation, management, and protection of groundwater resources.


Approved BSc degree and appropriate groundwater and/or water engineering subjects

Learning objectives

Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
  1. describe process and procedures of applied groundwater modelling;
  2. construct numerical groundwater models using popular modelling tools with hands-on exercises;
  3. use groundwater models to simulate groundwater flow, contaminant transport, and saltwater intrusion with hypothetical examples;
  4. apply groundwater models for groundwater resources management and protection in real-world case studies.

Course content

The course consists of the following topics:

Groundwater flow modelling:

  • Purpose of groundwater modelling
  • Conceptual model: conceptualisation of aquifer-aquitard systems; specification of boundary conditions; hydrological stresses
  • Design of numerical model: finite-difference solutions of flow problems; steady versus unsteady model; one layer versus multi-layer model; lay-out of grids; stress period/time steps
  • Model inputs: initial conditions; boundary conditions; hydrogeological parameters; hydrological stresses
  • Model calibration and validation: selection of model code; calibration procedures
  • Model prediction: purpose of prediction; simulation of scenarios; determination of capture zones
  • Introduction to PMWIN
  • Introduction to MODFLOW
  • Exercises and case study

Contaminant transport modelling:

  • Contaminant transport processes and mechanisms: advective transport; dispersion; diffusion; sorption; degradation
  • Contaminant transport models: mass fluxes; mass balance equations; initial conditions; boundary conditions
  • Analytical solutions: 1D advective-dispersion-sorption-degradation
  • Numerical solutions: Finite difference; method of Characteristics
  • Applied modelling of contaminant transport: problem definition; purpose of modelling; conceptual model; selection of model code; design of numerical model; model calibration; sensitivity analysis; model application
  • Introduction to PMPATH
  • Introduction to MT3D
  • Exercises and case study

Saline groundwater modelling:

  • Salt water intrusion in coastal aquifers
  • Density dependent flow equations of a fresh-saline interface: Badon Ghijben-Herzberg principle; sharp interface; transition zone
  • Numerical modelling: interface models; solute transport model; benchmark problems
  • Applied modelling of seawater intrusion
  • Exercises and case study



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