84513 - Contaminated Sites

Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Moduli: Alessandro Gargini (Modulo 1) Enrico Dinelli (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Second cycle degree programme (LM) in Geology and Territory (cod. 9073)

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student is able to comprehend theory and application implications of: pollution of soil and groundwater by metals, metalloids (natural origin or man made) and organic contaminants (man made origin) like: hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, pesticides, emerging contaminants; transport processes of contaminants from a given source toward potential receptors via contamination exposure routes (in air and groundwater). Geologicl, hydrogeologico and geochemical characterization of a contaminated site; sampling and monitoring of contaminated media; remediation of contaminated sites.

Course contents

The course is divided in 2 Modules

Module I – Geochemistry of contaminated sites.

Sampling procedures on water, soil, sediment, air. Sampling strategy. Sample conditioning in relation to the sampled medium. Main instrumentations for geochemical characterization, with particular emphasis on inorganic components. Geochimical maps, threshold values and natural background levels. Migration and partition of inorganic contaminants in the hydrosphere: origin, toxicity and mobility.

Module II – Contaminant hydrogeology and risk assessment.

Physico-chemical properties and mobility of organic contaminants in air, soil and groundwater. Non Aqueous Phase Liquids. Transport of contaminants in the unsaturated zone and in groundwater (advection, diffusion, dispersion, retardation, degradation). Legislation on contaminated sites. Well-head and spring-head protection zones. Characterization, risk assessment and remediation of contaminated sites. Forensic hydrogeology and identification of the polluter.


Module 1 –Geochemistry of contaminated sites

Calace N., Fratini M., Guerra M., Pascarella F., Zampetti F., 2006. Manuale per le indagini ambientali nei siti contaminati. APAT, Manuali e linee guida 43/2006

Manuale per la movimentazione di sedimenti marini, 2009. APAT-ICRAM

Linee guida per la determinazione dei valori di fondo per i suoli e per le acque sotterranee. ISPRA

Manuali e linee guida 174/2018

Module 2 –Contaminant Hydrogeology and Risk Assessment

Lessons (slides) of the teacher uploaded on IOL the day before each lesson.

The teaching material provided by the teacher, along with the notes taken by the student, is to be considered adequate for the preparation of the exam

To integrate:

C.W.Fetter-T.Boving-D.Kreamer "Contaminant Hydrogeology" Waveland Press

Teaching methods

Oral presentations, generally organized as a general overview and case studies as examples. Field trips are planned at sites of interest to complement classroom teaching

For module 2 exercitations in classroom by PC will be performed for risk assessment through freeware codes. Activity on the field concerning hydrogeological monitoring and characterization in a contaminated site

Assessment methods

The exam is based upon a multiple-choice/open answer written test.

The student can refuse the votation only once

The votation is expressed in 30/30 quote.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, blackboard, demonstration of the use of instruments (in the lab and on the field). PC exercise to perform risk assessment

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Gargini

See the website of Enrico Dinelli


Clean water and sanitation Sustainable cities Peace, justice and strong institutions

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.