EARTHSCI 772 : Hydrogeology


2021 Semester One (1213) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Introduces aquifers and aquifer properties; the various processes and techniques utilised in the discovery, development and assessment of groundwater resources; groundwater in construction; groundwater contamination.

Course Overview

Hydrogeologists study the distribution, flow and quality of water underground. With ever rising population pressures many countries, including New Zealand, are increasingly turning to groundwater to meet potable water supply needs. However, finding and developing this precious resource is a time consuming and complicated exercise, encompassing such diverse activities as geologic field mapping through to complex mathematical modelling.  Hydrogeology is also integral to the construction industry, where a knowledge of groundwater conditions is vital before undertaking any engineering project.

This course provides insight into the practical side of hydrogeology by introducing the various processes and techniques utilised in the discovery, development and assessment of the long term viability of groundwater resources.  Groundwater related engineering issues are also introduced, and laboratory and field-based exercises familiarise students with some of the methods used in shallow groundwater investigations.

As a core course in the Masters of Engineering Geology and an elective in the Masters of Science degrees, the skills developed in this course are particularly useful for those pursuing a career in the engineering geology, civil engineering or construction industries.  They would also be of benefit for those wishing to enter careers involving water related environmental issues, and the discovery and development of resources in general.

Although there are no specific prerequisites for this course, an understanding of basic geology is assumed, and a previous qualification in earth sciences or geology is helpful.  However, any student who is willing to do a little catch-up on some topics with which they are unfamiliar should be able to complete the course. 

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Analyse pumping test data (Capability 1 and 3)
  2. Collect and analyse geophysical groundwater related data (Capability 1 and 3)
  3. Perform analytical modelling on a groundwater related data set (Capability 1 and 3)
  4. Interpret, evaluate and report on results of learning outcomes 1-3 (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Present a seminar on a groundwater related topic (Capability 4, 5 and 6)
  6. Write a detailed report on a groundwater related topic (Capability 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
4 Reports 80% Individual Coursework
1 Presentation 20% Individual Coursework
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
4 Reports
1 Presentation


As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, The School of Environment Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for, and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection), and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal introducing the Programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.

This course is supported by our Programme Coordinator, Kaiāwhina/Māori student adviser, and Pacific student adviser. They are able to organise group study and facilitate direct assistance regarding material taught in this course. For more information regarding the Programme feel free to email our Programme Coordinator.

Key Topics

Lectures topics include:
  • Aquifers and aquifer properties
  • Groundwater investigations
  • Well design, construction, testing and modelling
  • Groundwater geophysics
  • Groundwater in construction
Laboratories cover:
  • Settle3D modelling, interpretation and reporting
  • Pumping test data analysis, interpretation and reporting
  • EM data collection, processing, interpretation and reporting

Special Requirements

Attendance of all lectures, laboratories and seminars is mandatory.  Failure to attend may result in failure of the course.  Alternative arrangements will be discussed for students who are approved to take this course remotely.

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 10 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in.

The following time inputs are indicative of what a student may spend on this course:  12 hours lectures (6 x 2 hour lectures);  8 hours laboratories (4 x 2 hour laboratories);  10 hours seminars;  120 hours independent reading/research, writing reports and assignment, and seminar preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Attendance is expected at scheduled classes including lectures and laboratories/tutorials to complete components of the course. Lectures will be available as recordings but other learning activities including laboratories/tutorials will not be available as recordings.
Attendance on campus is required for the final examination.
The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable

Special advice for Offshore students
This course is available online to students resident offshore. The assessment and learning delivery mechanisms may differ from that presented in this Digital Course Outline. Please contact the Course Coordinator for further details - Dr Barry O'Connor,

Learning Resources

Relevant texts, etc., will be introduced during lectures and laboratories.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Lecture notes are available on CANVAS at lecturers’ discretion. Labs and related material are also downloaded from CANVAS - NO hard copies of this material are provided.

Lecture recordings are available on CANVAS 72 hours after the completion of a lecture.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and your assessment is fair, and not compromised. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the University Website for information about how to proceed.

Level 1:  Delivered normally as specified in delivery mode
Level 2: You will not be required to attend in person.  All teaching and assessment will have a remote option.
Level 3 / 4: All teaching activities and assessments are delivered remotely

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Published on 07/06/2021 11:42 p.m.