Groundwater Modelling

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course provides an overview on the principles of groundwater modeling using numerical tools. The overall goal of the course is to reach a sufficient degree of knowledge to be able to (1) translate a real-life hydrogeological problem into a conceptual model first and (2) to know how to solve it numerically. At the end of the course, the student will be able to perform independently simple groundwater simulations and to understand how to recognize a well-built model from an incorrect one. The course involves the installation of the software Processing Modflow and MODELMUSE, freely downloadable from Internet, which can be installed on individual laptops or workstations and usable even after the end of the course.
Expected learning outcomes
The participant will learn (1) why models are needed in groundwater management, (2) what a numerical model is and what a software contains behind the graphical user interface, (3) how a real-life hydrogeological problem can be conceptualized and approximated by a numerical model, and (4) how to solve for the problem using standard numerical codes (MODFLOW, MODPATH, MT3D). The practices provide examples from applications from Italian and international case studies, with real-life (i.e. not idealized) datasets. The participants will be ready to apply these concepts in practical applications beyond the academia. Typical problems associated with the usually-difficult step "from theory to practice" are analyzed and discussed.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Teaching in the "emergency" phase is carried out as follows:
- The exam takes place in an "oral" way through the MS Teams platform.
- Theoretical lessons and exercises are delivered synchronously via Teams, where possible, or videorecorded.
Course syllabus
Theoretical lessons:
· Introduction to the course
· Use of numerical models
· Types of modeling approaches
· Fundamental concepts for flow simulations
· Fundamental concepts for solute transport simulations
· How to add geochemical reactions in groundwater models
· How to deal with uncertainty
· Applications

· Explore the interface of the reference code and build the first numerical model and analysis of input and output files
· Evaluation of model parameterization and boundary conditions
· Comparison between numerically simulated results and analytical solutions
· Add wells and springs
· Simulations of solute transport
· Simulations of heat transport
· Geochemical reactions
· Analysis of case studies from real sites
Prerequisites for admission
The course requires basic notions of hydrogeology. Therefore, the attending student should have actively followed the course of Exploration and Management of Water Resources and Laboratory (F97), possibly having also passed the exam.
Courses in Applied Geology (F65), Technical Geology (F97), Water Resources and Reclamation (F97), Exploration of Water Resources (F97), and Dynamics of Geophysical Fluids and Laboratory (F97) are recommended.
Teaching methods
The course includes a theory part and a practical part, where the concepts learned are applied through simulation exercises of real hydrogeological problems. In the exercises, open-source software is used and the participant independently solves the assigned problem.
Teaching Resources
Lectures notes are provided by the instructors. Suggested textbook: Anderson and Woesner (1992)
Assessment methods and Criteria
Verification of learning involves the delivery of the exercise book and an oral or written exam.
GEO/05 - ENGINEERING GEOLOGY - University credits: 6
Practicals: 36 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Professor: Pedretti Daniele
Educational website(s)