The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2020

Course handbook


The theory of groundwater flow and the transport of pollutants in groundwater are covered in this course. Topics include the modelling of groundwater flow and contaminant transport, well hydraulics, flow nets, subsurface chemical and microbial processes, sea water intrusion, groundwater monitoring and remediation.

Availability2020 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2020

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Identify and explain the key concepts of hydrogeology and contaminant transport.

2. Demonstrate key concepts by interpreting data from laboratory experiments.

3. Implement solution techniques to solve common problems in hydrogeology and contaminant transport.

4. Generate technical reports that integrate key concepts and develop critical thinking skills.

5. Demonstrate capability to research the literature and apply it to practical problems.


  1. Introduction to groundwater, groundwater history and groundwater resources in Australia
  2. Darcy's Law and basic definitions
  3. Aquifer properties and groundwater geology
  4. 3D and 2D groundwater flow equation
  5. Developing solutions to groundwater flow problems; boundary conditions, initial conditions
  6. Analytical solutions to groundwater flow problems
  7. Flow nets
  8. Regional groundwater flow
  9. Well hydraulics
  10. Pump tests
  11. Numerical modelling of groundwater flow problems; MODFLOW
  12. Model calibration, parameter estimation and prediction
  13. Groundwater contamination - overview
  14. Groundwater chemistry
  15. Contaminant transport equation
  16. Diffusion and dispersion
  17. Model calibration and parameter estimation
  18. Boundary and initial conditions
  19. Analytical solutions
  20. Measurement of dispersivity
  21. Sea water intrusion
  22. Retardation
  23. Biodegradation
  24. Site remediation


This course has similarities to CIVL3470. If you have successfully completed CIVL3470, you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge

Content covered in courses CIVL2310 Fluid Mechanics; CIVL2040 Engineering Probabilities; CIVL2060 Numerical Methods or equivalent

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Experiment 1

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Laboratory Experiment 2

Written Assignment: Research Investigation

In Term Test: In-Class Midterm Examination

In Term Test: Final Examination

Contact hours


Computer Lab

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 5 Weeks starting in week 2

Computer laboratory will be held for 2 hours per week from week 2 to week 6.


Face to Face On Campus 4 hour(s) per Term Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks starting in week 7

Tutorial will be held for 2 hours per week from week 7 to week 13.