Geosciences for risk and environment management
Study-unit Code
Geosciences for environmental sustainability
Costanza Cambi
  • Costanza Cambi
  • 42 ore - Costanza Cambi
Course Regulation
Coorte 2023
Learning activities
Discipline geomorfologiche e geologiche applicative
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Opzionale (Optional)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The water cycle, hydrological systems, continuity equation, water budget.
Temperature, rain, evaporation, evapotranspiration, infiltration (measurement and estimation).
Concept system and model. Underground water, basic terms. Piezometric head and hydraulic potential.
Darcy's equation (also in terms of Bernoulli's Equation). Reynolds number, validity of Darcy's equation. Hydraulic conductivity, permeability, and their measurement.
Dupuit-Forchheimer hypothesis.
Solution of some elementary groundwater problems.
Isotropy and anisotropy. Flow parallel and orthogonal to the stratification.
Flow nets.
Seepage force and consequences. Piezometric maps, relations between surface water and groundwater.
Hydraulics of wells. Steady-state and unsteady-stae. The inverse problem. Pumping tests (Theis, Cooper -Jacob, Jacob & Rorabough methods).
Superposition principle in space and time and applications to groundwater systems.
Well tests: step-drawdown test, well efficiency, optimal discharge. Well-fields.
Fractured and karstic systems. Source Hydrogeology of water springs; depletion curves. The intrusion of seawater into coastal aquifers: Gyben-Herzberg equation. Introduction to the art of hydrogeological modeling.
Reference texts
C. W. Fetter APPLIED HYDROGEOLOGY. Fourth edition.
Pearson New International Edition 2013
Educational objectives
The objectives of the course are:
- To provide students with basic knowledge of hydrogeology, integrated into the broader field of hydrology.
- Teach students to think indipedently about the treated hydrogeological problems on the basis of the base skills provided at the beginning of the course.
- Provide students with a clear understanding of the experimental, geological, physical, and mathematical foundations on which hydrogeology is based.
The students should know Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Statistics and Geology as provided by a Bachelor's degree in Geology, Natural Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Civil Engineering, or other related degrees.
Teaching methods
Traditional classroom lectures.
Solution of numerical problems concerning hydrogeology
Field trips if possible
Other information
- To pass the exam, the student must show a clear understanding of basic concepts and equations.
- Attendance at the lessons is not compulsory but is strongly recommended. The continuous study is also essential since each lesson's topics implies the knowledge of the issues already presented.
- The course focuses on groundwater but stresses that hydrological, hydrogeological, and hydroclimatic phenomena belong to the same general process.
Learning verification modality
Written Test and oral test (subject to passing the written test).

The Written Test is a set of numerical problems to be solved in 3 hours.

The Oral Test's purpose is to verify the degree of comprehension of the fundamental topics discussed during the course. Students will be asked to explain (conceptually and quantitatively) some of the issues covered during the lectures. Students could be asked to prove some equations.
The final mark will depend on both tests.
Passing the written test does not guarantee to pass the exam.
Extended program
Water cycle.
Hydrological systems,
Water budget.

Temperature, rain, evaporation, evapotranspiration, infiltration (measurement and estimation).
System concept and model. Hydrogeological systems. Groundwater, basic terms. Piezometric load and hydraulic potential.

Darcy's equation. Reynolds number, validity of Darcy's equation. Non-Darcian flow. Hydraulic conductivity, permeability, transmissivity, effective porosity, storage coefficient, etc.. Darcy's velocity and actual velocity. Measurement and estimation of hydrogeological parameters, in the field and the laboratory.

Dupuit-Forchheimer approximations; boundary conditions.

Isotropy and anisotropy. Flow parallel and orthogonal to the stratification.
Flow networks. Filtration force and consequences. Piezometric maps, relations between surface water and groundwater.

Hydraulics of wells. Water wells pumping in stationary and transient conditions. The radius of influence of pumping wells. Pumping tests in confined and phreatic aquifers (Thiem-Dupuit, Theis, Cooper -Jacob equations). Pumping tests and inverse problem solution. Well-test (step-drawdown test); well efficiency, optimal flow rate (Jacob & Rorabough equations).

Superposition principle and its application to groundwater problems in sapce and time. Well-fields.

Fractured and karstic systems. Hydrogeology of springs; depletion curves and their application.

Hydraulics of seawater intrusion in coastal aquifers. Equations of Gyben-Herzberg.
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