HWM-20806 Hydrogeology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Field practical36
Course coordinator(s)dr. VF Bense
Lecturer(s)dr. VF Bense
R Dijksma
ing. G Bier
Examiner(s)dr. VF Bense

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

AEW-23803 Water II; SLM-20806 Water Quantity and Quality

Continuation courses:

HWM-32806 Catchment Hydrology; SLM-21306 Subsurface Solute Transport; SLM-32806 Ecohydrology


This course studies hydrogeological systems, which are three-dimensional distributions of aquifers, semi-permeable and impermeable layers consisting of unconsolidated and hard rocks bounded by natural hydrogeological boundaries. The systems have a characteristic groundwater flow (magnitude and chemical composition). Hydrogeological systems are evaluated in the context of water resources assessment-environmental protection, and land and water use planning.
The course covers subjects, such as, hydraulic properties of different flow media, types of saturated flow, hydrochemistry, isotope hydrology, hydrogeological systems in different environments both with unconsolidated and hard rocks, groundwater occurrence in regions with extreme climates (permafrost and (semi-)arid regions). The student learns how to perceive regional hydrogeological research.
Besides lectures (50%), the students have to compile a conceptual model of a hydrogeological system in the field (Ardennes, Belgium), and to develop groundwater models for hydrogeological systems (computer practical).

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- interpret hydraulic properties of both unconsolidated and hard rocks, types of saturated flow, hydrochemical conditions and stream-aquifer interaction;
- apply knowledge on hydraulic properties of different rocks, types of saturated flow, hydrochemical conditions and stream-aquifer interaction;
- evaluate hydrogeological systems in different environments, incl. regions with extreme climates (permafrost and (semi-)arid regions);
- compile a conceptual model of a hydrogeological system in the field;
- develop a simple groundwater flow model for a representative hydrogeological system;
- present models in a plenary setting both in the field (field classes Belgian Ardennes) and in a lecture room (modelling part).


- attend classes;
- study lecture notes and make comprehensive exercises;
- study of manuals (Ardennes and groundwater modelling practical), field survey and analysis of data, compilation of brief field report and oral presentation (Ardennes) on the conceptual model, development of groundwater model and oral presentation.


The examination of the course consists of four parts:
- presentation of the modelling practical;
- report of hydrogeological field classes in the Belgian Ardennes;
- presentation at the field classes;
- written open exam.
For the first three elements, you have to obtain a GO and for the latter you will pass if you obtain 55 or more points out of 100 points.
The written exam deals with the theory (lectures and modelling), incl. generic aspects of compiling conceptual hydrogeological models based upon the field survey in the Belgian Ardennes.


Lecture notes Hydrogeology, Manual Hydrogeological Field Survey (Ardennes).
Manual Groundwater Modelling.
Notes and manuals are available at the WUR-shop.

Restricted Optional for: BSWSoil, Water, AtmosphereBSc1MO