GEO220 Hydrogeology

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Helen Kristine French, Dominika Malgorzata Krzeminska, Joris Cornelis Stuurop

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk, norsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:250 hours.

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.

About this course

This course covers fundamentals of groundwater flow, emphasizing the role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle, and how flow relates to geologic structures. The course will cover the following topics: Darcy's law, flow nets, heterogeneity and anisotropy, storage properties, boundary conditions, recharge, well hydraulics, pumping tests, groundwater in fractured rock, groundwater quality, geological and hydrogeological characterisation methods. The course includes lectures, practicals, group work and computer demonstrations. All lectures are provided in Canvas together with other course material

Learning outcome


In this course, the students will learn about the properties of groundwater and its role in the hydrological cycle. Further, the student will become familiar with how aquifers can be utilised and protected against pollution. The connections between bedrock, surficial deposits and groundwater, will be emphasised using relevant information provided in maps and databases. The student will become familiar with the most important properties of groundwater. After the course the student should understand how groundwater behaves and moves in porous media, including the basic equations for groundwater flow and transport (Darcy's law); how to evaluate the potential for groundwater flow and storage based on geological maps, sustainable management of groundwater, methods for estimating hydraulic properties, flow and transport in groundwater.


The student should be able to conduct a practical evaluation of the potential use of groundwater for drinking water and its¿ role for geotechnical aspects and in ecosystems. The student should have obtained an understanding that groundwater is an important resource that must be managed in a sustainable way.

General competence

Apply basic knowledge in geology, physics, chemistry in an interdisciplinary way to solve practical problems. Be able to collaborate with people with different backgrounds.

  • Lectures and practicals, but can also be followed remotely from lectures notes (power point files). The teaching consists of: 1. Theory of flow of groundwater and the properties of groundwater basins. 2. The use of groundwater maps where one applies the theory. 3. Submission of answers to compulsory exercises. 4. Work with excerices from the text book or other sources, where the students learn about groundwater systems and can test their own knowledge. 5 Supervised group work to solve practical groundwater problems taken from real examples, topics suggested by the teacher or the students themselves. Compulsory practicals concern how to make use of 1) geological maps 2) groundwater maps 3) maps of bedrock and the Granada well database, as a basis for evaluating the potential for groundwater extraction, 4) Excursion: Half a day in the NMBU area: Groundwater in surficial deposits.
  • Web-based via Canvas.
  • GEO100 or equivalent basic background knowledge in geology
  • Final written examination (3 hours): 100%. Grading system A-E / Not passed.
  • External examiner participates in preparing the examination questions and sensor guidelines in the course. External examiner is used for the assessment of the written examination.
  • Compulsory assignments, excursions.
  • The course GEO320 Hydrogeology - Field Course further builds on GEO220.
  • Lectures/practicals/student presentations: 62 hours. Group work supervision: 2 hours. Field excursion: 4 hours.
  • Letter grades
  • Special requirements in Science.