Spring 2018 - EASC 415 D100

Groundwater Modelling (3)

Class Number: 12787

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    AQ 5008, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Diana Allen
    1 778 782-3967
    Office: TASC 1 Room 7239
  • Prerequisites:

    EASC 304.



An introduction to groundwater modelling providing theory and practical experience in developing numerical groundwater models using state-of-the-art software. Emphasis is placed on modelling flow in the saturated zone, but unsaturated zone hydrology, solute transport, and density dependent flow are also covered. Students with credit for EASC 400 in Spring 2016 only may not take this course for further credit.


This is an introductory course in groundwater modelling. The course will provide the student with the relevant theory and practical experience to develop and test conceptual models, recognize data requirements, and identify the limitations of numerical models. Assignments and a term project will be completed using state-of-the-art groundwater modelling software. An emphasis will be placed on modelling flow in the saturated zone, but unsaturated zone hydrology, solute transport, and density dependent flow are also covered.

Course Topics:
1.      Modeling Fundamentals
2.      Conceptual Hydrogeological Model Development
3.      Designing the Numerical Model
4.      Model Calibration, Forecasting and Uncertainty Analysis, Model Documentation
5.      Advanced Topics – Particle Tracking, Solute Transport, Flow in the Unsaturated Zone, Fracture Flow, Heat Transport, Multi-Phase Flow, Density Dependent Flow

The following computer codes will be used or demonstrated:
I.                   3-D Flow and Particle Tracking :  Visual MODFLOW
II.                3-D Solute Transport: MT3D
III.             1-D Unsaturated Flow: WHI UnSat Suite, MIKE SHE
IV.              3-D Saturated-Unsaturated Density Dependent Flow and Transport - SEAWAT

Course Organization:
One 2-hour lecture and a 3-hour lab. Weekly assignments will be distributed during lab time. A modeling term project that integrates the various skills developed through the assignments will be distributed mid-semester.


Learning Outcomes:

Knowledge Development: students learn the fundamental mathematical underpinnings of numerical modeling in a hydrogeological context. Students learn how to develop and test conceptual hydrogeological models using a numerical modeling approach, including selecting appropriate model boundary conditions and model parameters based on hydrogeological data, and approaches for model calibration and uncertainty assessment.  

Analytical Skill Development: students employ advanced problem solving skills to develop a conceptual and quantitative understanding of the three dimensional movement of fluid in the subsurface. Students also develop skills in data management, analysis (calculation, graphing) and evaluation of data and model uncertainty.  

Computing Skills: Students develop skills in numerical modeling using state of the art commercial groundwater modeling software.  

Writing Skill Development: Students write a comprehensive modeling report to fully document the development of a conceptual and numerical groundwater model, model calibration and sensitivity analysis, and model application to a problem. 


  • Assignments 60%
  • Modelling Project 40%



Anderson, M.P., Woessner, W.W., and Hunt, R.J. 2015. Applied Groundwater Modeling: Simulation of Flow and Advective Transport, 2nd Edition, Academic Press, 564 pp
ISBN: 9780120581030

Registrar Notes:

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