Mag 192014

Department of Environmental Engineering 

Short Course on

“Fundamental and Advanced Topics

in Hydrogeology and Hydrological Simulation”

Cagliari – Italy July, 21st to 25th 2014


Deadline June 30, 2014

Lecturer: Prof. Claudio Paniconi,  INRS-ETE, University of Quebec, Quebec City, Canada

Course Description: The hydrological cycle is characterized by continuous interactions between the atmosphere (rainfall and evaporation), the land surface (overland and channel flow), and the subsurface (soil infiltration and aquifer recharge). Reliable observation and modeling of these interlinked processes is critical to sustainable water management in the face of increasing resource degradation and societal conflicts arising from population, land use, and climate changes. The challenges in monitoring and simulating hydrological processes can be attributed to several factors, not least of which the sheer complexity of these interactions, the spatio-temporal heterogeneity that characterizes natural systems, the difficulty in measuring key parameters and state variables, and the knowledge gaps and uncertainties in the models we use to study hydrological dynamics. These challenges are being addressed by continual advances in several domains, including: computer technology (in support of observation networks, data analysis, and process simulation); hydrological observation (on the ground, airborne, and from space); numerical algorithms (to deal more effectively and efficiently with scale, nonlinearity, and other complexities); and evolving methodologies for model calibration, parameter estimation, and data assimilation (so that simulation models and observation data can be integrated in a physically consistent manner).

This intensive 5-day course will review fundamental and practical aspects of hydrological theory and modeling. The primary focus will be on the subsurface (groundwater and soil water), and special attention will be devoted to advanced topics such as:

  • Modeling coupled phenomena (e.g., water flow and contaminant transport; atmosphere–surface–subsurface interactions);
  • Matching models and complexity (e.g., 1D models for infiltration; quasi-2D models for hillslopes; 2D models for recharge–discharge analysis; analytical solutions for well response to pumping and for simple reactive transport);
  • Principles and applications of data assimilation and remote sensing for hydrology.

The course will be structured as a series of lectures, mostly in the morning sessions, followed by afternoon sessions devoted to hands-on simulation code demonstrations and exercises. The lectures will cover, in addition to the advanced topics mentioned above, the following theoretical and applied elements of hydrology, hydrogeology, and numerical modeling: basic definitions, concepts, and parameters in porous media flow and transport; Darcy’s law, conservation of mass, and Richards’ equation; Dupuit, Boussinesq, and other approximations; advection, dispersion, and mass transfer; first-order, equilibrium, and kinetic reactions; finite difference and finite element discretization; geostatistics, sensitivity analysis, and uncertainty estimation. The demos will allow participants to experiment directly with a number of simplified models (Matlab codes that solve the 1D Richards, hillslope-scale Boussinesq, analytical advection–dispersion–reaction, and steady state groundwater flow equations) and to work with more general and detailed models such as the integrated surface water–groundwater CATHY (CATchment HYdrology) simulator.

Short Course website

There is no registration or tuition fee for the course, but participants must cover their own travel and subsistence costs.

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