Jean Moran,
California State University-East Bay


This course covers physical and chemical hydrogeology. Practical, laboratory exercises are quantitative, requiring use of spreadsheet programs and carrying out calculations.

Course Size:

Institution Type:
University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs

Course Context:

This is an elective course taken primarily by students pursuing a B.S. in Geology. M.S. students take the course if they have not previously taken a hydrogeology course.

Course Content:

Course topics include: Characteristics of aquifers, aquitards, and the vadose zone. Flow and transport in porous media and principals of advection-dispersion. Groundwater occurrence and use in California and the Western U.S. Water-rock interaction, groundwater contamination, and cleanup methods. Groundwater management and artificial recharge. Collection of hydrogeological data in the field at wells.

Course Goals:

Learning Objectives for this course:
  1. Students will gain an appreciation for the role that groundwater plays in water budgets for individual basins, for California, for the U.S., and in the global water cycle.
  2. Students will gain an understanding of the hydraulic properties of different geologic materials.
  3. Students will be able to describe the fundamental differences between unconfined and confined aquifer systems, qualitatively and quantitatively.
  4. Students will be able to apply Darcy's Law to determine the rate of groundwater flow in different geologic media.
  5. Students will be able to manipulate data from a pump test or slug test to determine drawdown or transmissivity.
  6. Students will gain an understanding of the hydrologic and geologic factors that govern regional groundwater transport.
  7. Students will gain and understanding of the source of the most abundant ions in groundwater.
  8. Students will become familiar with common groundwater contaminants and the problems associated with their occurrence in drinking water and with remediation.

Course Features:

The course is designed around classroom activities, demonstrations, laboratory exercises, computer exercises, and two field trips.

Course Philosophy:

Students have many opportunities to gather and analyze data, and to integrate information for a presentation and for classroom activities like gallery walks and group problem solving.


student presentation on a research topic, written tests and quizes, laboratory and field trip reports


Hydrogeology Syllabus (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB May1 13)

Teaching Materials:

References and Notes:

Applied Hydrogeology by Fetter
covers the content

Lee, Fetter, McCray Laboratory Manual, use 4 labs
complements text