Department of Earth Science |Northeastern Illinois University

ESCI 337

Course Outcomes and Objectives  (also see the daily objectives linked to the outline of topics)

By the end of this course, you should be able to do the following:

Surface Water/Hydrologic Cycle
   w describe the processes in the hydrologic cycle and explain how rates of each are quantified
   w use a planimeter to measure a map area
   w given precipitation rates in length/time units, calculate the volume of precipitation over an area
   w given evaporation rates in length/time units, calculate volume of evaporation from a surface water body
   w construct a hydrologic budget for a drainage basin
   w use the internet to locate discharge data for a given stream gage
   w given stream discharge data, plot a hydrograph
   w list and describe the effects of factors that determine hydrograph shape

Properties of Porous Media
   w use lab and non-lab methods to estimate values of porosity, effective porosity, specific yield, specific retention, permeability, and hydraulic conductivity for any given type of porous medium
   w use these properties to predict and describe the water-bearing and water-yielding capacities of various rocks and sediments
   w describe a hydrogeologic setting in terms of aquifers, aquitards, and hydrostratigraphic units
   w using geologic cross sections, maps, and reports, identify hydrostratigraphic units in any given area

Ground Water Flow
   w use data from piezometers to measure hydraulic head
   w distinguish between wells and piezometers, and explain what determines water levels as measured by each
   w given measurements of hydraulic head, calculate hydraulic gradient within a porous medium
   w use Darcy’s Law to describe the interactions between ground water discharge, hydraulic conductivity, cross-sectional area of flow, and hydraulic gradient
   w use corollaries of Darcy’s Law to estimate velocity of ground water flow
   w draw plan view and cross-sectional flow nets based on boundary conditions and/or hydraulic head data
   w use water levels in wells/piezometers to predict the direction of ground water flow in an area

Well Hydraulics
   w sketch a diagram of a well illustrating and labeling the components
   w given the intended purpose of a well and the site geology, specify the depth to which the borehole should be drilled and the well intake installed
   w describe the flow of water to a well
   w use the Theis equation to predict the effects of changes in pumping rate, radius from the pumping well, hydraulic conductivity, aquifer saturated thickness, time since pumping began, and aquifer storativity on the drawdown within an aquifer
   w interpret pumping test data to estimate aquifer transmissivity and storativity

Ground Water Chemistry and Contamination
   w use mass/mass, mass/volume, and molar units of measurement to describe aqueous concentrations of water constituents
   w list common ground water contaminants (or contaminant groups) and their potential sources
   w describe how physical and chemical characteristics of a contaminant affect its behavior in the subsurface and influence selection of remediation strategies

Ground Water Modeling
   w use well logs, regional geologic data, surface water records, and other hydrogeologic data to construct hydrogeologic cross sections and maps for a given area
   w produce a numerical model of ground water conditions in a given area, including appropriate choice of boundaries and initial conditions
   w describe and evaluate the magnitude and effects of potential errors within the numerical model
   w write a scientific report describing and explaining the numerical model

Quantitative Skills
   w solve geomathematical problems involving varied and diverse units of measurement, and be able to convert between units
   w using quantitative terms, formulate mathematical expressions for and solutions to problems related to water flow rates, discharge rates, volumes, areas, and depths
   w apply the following quantitative skills: algebraic manipulation, use of scientific notation, use of exponents and logarithms, construction and interpretation of graphs, contouring, interpolation and extrapolation, and use of significant figures

Teamwork/Critical Thinking/ Non-Content-Based Skills
   w in the NEIU library, locate scientific journals that concern hydrogeology
   w evaluate the validity and reliability of disparate data sources, especially when they provide conflicting information
   w evaluate quantitative solutions to hydrogeological problems to determine if they fall within a reasonable range of values
   w evaluate quantitative solutions to hydrogeological problems to estimate sources of uncertainty and magnitude of error.
   w be able to participate effectively as a member of a working group.

Department of Earth Science | Northeastern Illinois University

© 2007 Laura L. Sanders.  Last updated August 30, 2007.