67094 - Geological Modeling and Hydrogeology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to: provide the basic principles of numerical modelling for geotechnical and hydrogeological problems; introduce the finite differences and finite elements methods; explain who to design, calibrate, and validate a numerical model for engineering- geological applications.


Course contents

GEOTECHNICAL MODELING. Use of the finite difference method to solve differential equations. Application of the finite difference method to unconfined flow in porous media. Numerical stability. Features, capabilities and limitations of the main commercial software for numerical modelling. Numerical analysis of geotechnical problems: 1) gravitational stress field generated in an elastic and an elastic-plastic material; 2) circular excavation in an elastic material; 3) bearing capacity of a shallow foundation; 4) slope stability of an homogeneous slope; 5) slope stability of a stratified rock mass; 6) underground excavation of a plastic material

HYDROGEOLOGICAL MODELING: introduction to hydrogeological modeling: types of models and flow equation. Steps for the implementation of a numerical model: spatial discretization of the flow domain, initial and boundary conditions, hydrogeological parameters and stresses, model calibration and validation. Overview of the main numerical codes and graphical interfaces for hydrogeological modeling. Quick review on contaminant transport and transport equation. Hydrogeological modeling exercises using the codes MODFLOW, MODPATH, and MT3DMS and the graphical interface Groundwater Vistas: steady state and transient state flow models, transport models, manual and automatic model calibration, sensitivity analysis.


Powerpoint slides

Course notes (in Italian)

Anderson M.P., Woessner W.W. (1992). Applied groundwater modelling — Simulation of flow and advective transport. Academic Press Inc., San Diego (USA), 381 p.

Teaching methods

Lecturers and computer exercises

Assessment methods

The exam is divided into 4 parts:

Geotechnical modelling:

1) multiple-choice quiz (A1)

2) numerical modelling exercise (A2)

The mean of A1 and A2 gives A

Hydrogeological modelling:

1) multiple-choice quiz (B1)

2) numerical modelling exercise (B2)

The mean of B1 and B2 gives B

The final grade results from the average of A and B

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Berti

See the website of Maria Filippini