Earth Sciences
Athena Swan Award
UCL Earth Sciences

GEOLM022: Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources

GEOLM022: Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources

This module introduces the concepts of groundwater modelling as applied to groundwater resources management. It is delivered in part by ‘problem-based learning’: small groups of students collaborate to develop a groundwater flow model applied to a topical hydrogeological problem.


To introduce the student to the physical processes governing groundwater resources and to demonstrate the scientific basis for groundwater resources assessment and management.


Knowledge and understanding of:

1. Processes and physical / hydraulic parameters controlling groundwater flow.

2. The concepts of water balance, storage, and equilibrium / transient groundwater conditions.

3. The hydrogeological characteristics of important aquifers.

4. The representation of groundwater flow in aquifers, using numerical models.


The course presents the principles of physical hydrogeology (aquifer hydraulic properties, groundwater hydraulics, aquifer investigations, recharge and river-aquifer interactions) and demonstrates their application to groundwater resources management through consideration of aquifer water balances and an introduction to groundwater flow modelling.

Title Hydrogeology and Groundwater Resources
UG Code GEOLM022
Coordinator Dr. William Burgess
Other Contributors  
Term 2
Credit 0.5 CU
Written Exam 70%
Practical Exercises
Pre-Requisites None
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement  
Total Number of Hours of Student Work 188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars 20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes 20 hours
Hours of Tutorials 0
Days of Fieldwork 0
Other None
Annual Monitoring download pdf
Categorizing Student Performance Levels download pdf
Moodle page Moodle page
Definitions Excellent performance (1st) Typical performance (2,1 - 2,2) Threshold performance (Pass)
Intellectual skills - knowledge and understanding

Extending well beyond the class programme.

Highly developed appreciation of hydrogeological environments and interpretation techniques + how reality diverges from analytical exact solutions 

Covering the class programme, with enquiry beyond

Awareness of hydrogeological concepts and issues, and the means of investigating hydrogeological environments.

Limited to the class programme.

Basic knowledge of groundwater occurrence. 

Practical Skills Critical appreciation of aquifer test analysis, and approaches to groundwater flow modelling   

Knowledge of aquifer test analysis, and of groundwater flow modelling issues. 

Basic awareness aquifer test analysis techniques, and of the basis for groundwater flow models.
Communication skills Confidence and strong basis for engaging groundwater professionals in discussion of hydrogeological issues

Confidence to consider a seminar or paper presentation of a hydrogeological issue 

Interest to list to a hydrogeological seminar, and read an academic paper in hydrogeology.
Self Management

Excellent time management.

Time management skills. Appreciation of the importance of time management.