Groundwater Exploitation and Protection

Course content

Groundwater modelling principles, model types, terminology. Development of conceptual geological and hydrogeological models. Mathematical and numerical principles, initial and boundary conditions. Development of 3D groundwater models. Data requirements. Discretization, parameterization, accuracy criteria. Manual calibration and validation of groundwater models. Automated parameter optimization, sparsely and highly parameterized model calibration. Simulation of particle pathways and travel times. Infiltration areas, capture zones, groundwater protection, sustainable use of groundwater. Scale issues and heterogeneity. Stochastic analysis and uncertainty assessments.


MSc Programme in Environmental Science
MSc Programme in Geology-Geoscience

Learning outcome


  • Groundwater modeling principles, model types, terminology
  • Principles of conceptual geological and hydrogeological models
  • Mathematical and numerical principles, boundary conditions
  • Data requirements for groundwater modelling
  • Discretization, parameterization, accuracy criteria
  • Calibration principles
  • Use of groundwater models for groundwater utilization and protection
  • Uncertainty issues in relation to groundwater modelling and water resources assessments


  • Data capture for development of a groundwater model
  • Development of 3-dimensional groundwater models based on quatitative geological models
  • Definition of calibration targets and accuray criteria 
  • Calibration and validation of groundwater models using trial-and-error and automated sparsely and highly parameterized model calibration
  • Simulation of particle pathways and travel times
  • Identification of infiltration areas and capture zones for well fields
  • Scale issues and geological heterogeneity
  • Uncertainty assessments
  • Stochastic modelling of groundwater flow and transport
  • Identification of groundwater protection zones according to adopted criteria


  • Digital competences through collection and analysis of relevant data in relation to assessments of groundwater utilization and protection
  • Development of geological and hydrogeological conceptual models
  • Application of complex modelling and visualization software
  • Setup and calibration a groundwater model
  • Application of a groundwater model for sustainable water resources assessment and protection measures

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon course page.

BSc in Geology-Geoscience or equivalent is recommended.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, during course
Oral examination, 20 minutes
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral exam.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please sse learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206