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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE3282 Groundwater

10 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Prof Jared West

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces

SOEE3281 Physical and Chemical Hydrogeology

This module is not approved as a discovery module


On completion of this module students should be able to: explain how groundwater fits into the hydrological cycle; use a the 'water balance' and specific yield concepts to predict the impacts of groundwater abstraction and recharge; understand the concept of hydraulic conductivity and how it is measured; describe the characteristics or rocks and soils that determine whether they are hydraulically conductive, interpret hydrogeological maps; estimate groundwater flows using Darcy's Law; describe groundwater abstraction and artificial recharge technologies e.g. groundwater wells, describe the main factors controlling groundwater vulnerability to pollution and approaches for assessing this; evaluate the accuracy and completeness of a routine groundwater analysis; explain how the chemical composition of natural groundwaters develop; describe the chemical reactions and rock-types responsible for specific groundwater compositions; describe key groundwater contaminants and the threats they pose to groundwater quality; describe approaches for sustainable management of groundwater resources .


Hydrogeological cycle and groundwater balance, groundwater climate change impacts, managed groundwater recharge, specific yield; porosity Darcy's Law and hydraulic conductivity, measuring hydraulic conductivity, classification of groundwater aquifers, examples; hydraulic head and groundwater contours, estimating groundwater flow using Darcy’s Law; well hydrographs and hydrogeological maps, groundwater wells and well pumping, groundwater vulnerability assessment and approaches. Routine groundwater analyses. Natural groundwater chemistry, interpretation of natural groundwater chemistries, groundwater evolution. Anthropogenic contamination - classification of contaminants, inorganic contaminants, organic contaminants, approaches to managing groundwater resources sustainably, major threats to groundwater resources in the 21st Century.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours73.50
Total Contact hours26.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

80 hours of self-directed study, including background reading associated with the lectures, practical sessions and the Minerva MCQ assessment and revision for the unseen examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Peer-to-peer discussion and feedback from demonstrators/ course leader during the practical sessions, including oral responses to student queries and the model answers provided, feedback generated by the Minerva MCQ assessment, discussion of model exam paper and answers in the revision session.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQMinerva-based MCQ20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment3 hr 00 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Resits will be assessed by a single Online Time-Limited Synchronous Exam worth 100% of the assessment as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 08/12/2023 11:47:43


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