75542 - Applied Hydrogeology

Course Unit Page


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

Clean water and sanitation Sustainable cities Climate Action

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, the trained student will be able to define the role of groundwater flow systems inside the framework of the watershed water budget and to set up an exploitation scheme of the aquifers. In particular the trained student will be able to: - evaluate and choose specific tools and techniques to measure hydrodinamic parameters (conductivity, transmissivity, storage) of the aquifer in relation to site geological conceptual model; to plan a sustainable groundwater exploitation scheme; to learn and apply computer-based tools to analyze hydrogeological data; to apply hydrogeological prospecting tools in the field. Field activities will be conducted along with the teaching of "Stabilità dei Versanti" for a total of 2 CFU.

Course contents



  1. Wells: designing and drilling. Probes for monitoring.
  2. Well hydraulics 1: Non Equilibrium methods for confined, leaky-confined and unconfined aquifers. Recovery method.
  3. Well hydraulics 2: Equilibrium method. Step discharge test. Hydraulic transmissivity and specific discharge.
  4. Pumping tests. Slug-testLefranc and Lugeon test 


  5. Exploitation of a spring.
  6. Discharge: Analysis of the spring hydrograph. Hydrologic recession. Evaluation of groundwater resources discharging to the spring outlet.
  7. Tracers and tracer tests in hydrogeology
  8. Discharge measurements by velocimeters, flumes and dilutio method. Stage curve.


  9. Hydrology of unsaturated zone. Estimation of recharge. Groundwater budget. Concept of safe-yield.
  10. Overdrafting of aquifers. Managing aquifer recharge. Effects of overdrafting in terms of salinization, subsidence and impairment of environmental flows.

    CLASS-ROOM EXERCISE (by PC provided by students)

  11. Interpolation of point-type data.
  12. Interpretation of pumping tests
  13. Interpretation of hydrologic recession and evaluation of water discharge


Lessons of the teacher downloadable from the university web site https://iol.unibo.it/.

The material will be available the day preceding the lesson.

As an integrating tool of the lessons, in particular for students not able to guarantee the presence in class, following text books are recommended: 

M.Civita "Idrogeologia applicata ed ambientale", Ambrosiana, 2005

G.Pranzini "Le acque sotterranee", Pitagora Editrice, Bologna

C.W.Fetter "Applied Hydrogeology", Prentice-Hall, 1994


Teaching methods

Theoretycal lessons in classroom

Computer-aided exercises by PC provided by students

On field excursions to sites of hydrogeological interest near Bologna and laboratory on the field for 3 days at the end of the course

During the laboratory on the field, performed in the Alps or Apennines, the students will conduct, organized in groups, hydrogeological tests and will collect data useful for the final reporting of the lab activity

Assessment methods

The exam is based upon a practical and an oral trial.

Practical exam could be performed, according the choice of the student, according one of the following two options: a) write a report with analysis and interpretation of hydrogeological data collected on the field during the outdoor laboratory activity at the end of the course; b) practical exercise at the computer by interpretation of hydrogeological data provided by the teacher.

Practical exam is evaluated according the following grades of judgment: Optimal-Good-Fair-Poor-Bad. With a judgment of “bad” there is no the admission to the oral examination and the practical trial must be repeated; in all other cases there is the admission to the oral examination.

Oral examination, in front of the teacher, is evaluated with a vote expressed in fraction of 30. Depending on the judgment of the practical trial the highest votation potentially achievable in the oral test is as follows: Optimal-30/30 cum laude; Good-30/30; Fair-27/30; Poor-25/30.

Teaching tools

Videoprojector, PC, blackboard, demonstration of the use of instruments (in the lab and on the field), PC provided by students with use of freeware dedicated software for exercises

Office hours

See the website of Alessandro Gargini