Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


This course covers fundamentals of groundwater flow and solute transport, underscoring the role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle, the relation of groundwater flow to geologic structure, and the management of contaminated groundwater.

The course covers the following topics: Darcy equation, flow nets, mass conservation, the aquifer flow equation, heterogeneity and anisotropy, storage properties, regional circulation, unsaturated flow, recharge, stream-aquifer interaction, well hydraulics, flow through fractured rock, numerical models, groundwater quality, contaminant transport processes, dispersion, decay, and adsorption. The course includes computer laboratory demonstrations.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2020.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Critically discuss the various chemical and biological reactions of contaminants in the aquifer and examine critical parameters governing transport and fate processes of contaminant in the aquifer.

2. Understand the global context of contaminants issues via undertaking a review of literature on various contaminants in soils and groundwater

3. Interpret aquifer and groundwater field data

4. Manipulate reactions of contaminants in the groundwater in relation to managing their remediation

5. Understand the limitations of mathematical representation of groundwater flow and solute transport in complex aquifer system and have the capacity to evaluate current and emerging knowledge

6. Visualise and simulate contaminant transport and aquifer reactions in the environmental risk assessment and remediation

7. Work collaboratively and opportunity to demonstrate and enhance their ability to communicate effectively


Part A. Introduction

  1. Introduction to theories and concepts on hydrologic cycle,  recharge-discharge of the aquifer system and groundwater and surface water interactions
  2. Introduction to underlying principles governing the theoretical and mathematical representation of groundwater flow and solute transport
  3. The use of literature within mutidisciplinary and interdisciplinary subjects

Part B. Governing groundwater contaminant fate and transport processes

  1. Critical parameters governing transport processes of contaminant in the aquifer
  2. Groundwater properties controlling contaminants reactions
  3. Developing contaminated groundwater conseptual site model (CSM)

Part C. Fate and transport of contaminant modeling in groundwater

  1. Hydrogeologic software tools in groundwater modelling
  2. Application of knowledge and techniques in qualitative and quantitative assessments of contaminant plume delineations in the groundwater
  3. The design and conduct of hydrogeological research and experiments for applied or scientific purposes, independently or within a team

Part D. Reporting

1. Producing a report from groundwater modelling

Assumed knowledge

Fundamental knowledge of chemistry and biology

Assessment items

Report: Report

Report: Practical reports

Formal Examination: Formal Examination