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Introductory Field Methods in Hydrogeology

GLG 230

Introductory Field Methods in Hydrogeology

GLG 230

Course Description

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: READING LEVEL 2 and WRITING LEVEL 2 and MATH LEVEL 2; and GLG 111, or GLG 130, or BIO 110 each with a minimum grade of "C" or better.

Introduces the field techniques used in environmental site assessment, ground water monitoring, and ground water testing. Includes soil water sampling, ground water sampling, water quality testing, and water level recording. Explores topics of geophysical surveying, water well installation, piezometer installation and techniques to determine the direction of ground water flow. (15-45)

Outcomes and Objectives

Explain the basic principles of ground water movement.

Objectives:

  • Compare and contrast the saturated zone and unsaturated zone.
  • Define Darcy's Law, and apply it to determinations of ground water flow velocity.
  • Distinguish between transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity.
  • List factors that determine ground water flow.
  • Draw and label the water table, saturated zone, and the unsaturated zone.
  • Compare and contrast recharge zones and discharge zones.
  • Describe the capillary fringe.
  • Define porosity and permeability, and give examples of Earth materials that have high and low porosities and permeabilities.
  • Compare and contrast confined and unconfined aquifers.
  • Describe the conditions necessary for artesian flow.

Demonstrate proper care and use of sampling equipment.

Objectives:

  • Perform and record water levels in monitoring wells using departmental instrumentation.
  • Describe and observe the proper installation of a lysimeter.
  • Collect ground water samples using bailers or pumps.
  • Describe the benefits of purging a well prior to sampling.
  • Explain proper care and clean-up of all departmental equipment, including water level recorders, bailers, sample bottles, and pumps to avoid any cross-contamination.

Determine the direction of ground water movement.

Objectives:

  • Explain the operation of a ground water level recording instrument.3
  • Determine the direction of ground water movement using three water wells.
  • Determine the direction of unconfined flow using a topographic map, available water wells, and stream data.

Describe the proper installation of ground water monitoring equipment.

Objectives:

  • List and describe three types of water well installation.
  • Describe the uses of piezometers and how they differ from a screened well.
  • Hand auger and successfully install a shallow piezometer.
  • Draw and label the suggested components in a ground water monitoring well.
  • Discuss the properties of bentonite clay and how it is utilized in well construction.
  • Explain the advantages and disadvantages of a sand pack.
  • Determine the optimum sand pack size given a grain-size distribution curve.
  • Describe two ways to protect a completed well from future damage or vandalism.

Perform chemical tests on collected samples of water.

Objectives:

  • Define and explain pH, conductivity, hardness, and alkalinity as measures of water quality.
  • Define and list four chemical ions commonly used to determine water quality.
  • Perform field tests of water quality using departmental test kits.
  • Interpret the water quality of a site, given various components of water chemistry.
  • Predict differences in water quality near a contaminated site, both up-gradient and down-gradient.

Describe the application of geophysical surveys in the environmental industry.

Objectives:

  • List and describe uses of four types of geophysical equipment common to the ground water industry.
  • Plan and conduct a small magnetometer survey as part of a site assessment.
  • List four buried features that a portable magnetometer can detect.
  • List four buried features that a portable magnetometer cannot detect.
  • Describe why magnetic anomalies are rarely symmetrical in Michigan.
  • Interpret a limited magnetic survey.

Develop a simple ground water sampling program.

Objectives:

  • Define quality assurance and quality control.
  • Explain the need for a QA/QC program when sampling waters.
  • Define instrument calibration and sample preservation.
  • List and define four ways to verify quality control of collected samples.
  • Describe four ways that errors can be introduced into a ground water data set.
  • Plan, collect, test, and record the results of surface and ground water samples while simultaneously following QA/QC protocol.