Module Catalogue 2016/17

CEG8516 : Groundwater Modelling

  • Offered for Year: 2016/17
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Geoffrey Parkin
  • Owning School: Civil Engineering & Geosciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



The aim of the module is to develop practical groundwater modelling skills and to develop an understanding of subsurface flow regimes, the way in which conceptual models of a groundwater system can be built, and how appropriate modelling software can be used to test and refine that understanding.
To provide a sound introduction to MODFLOW and related packages within industry-standard graphical user interfaces.

Outline Of Syllabus

* Groundwater flow processes.
* Numerical methods for groundwater modelling.
* Conceptual model development.
* Use of groundwater modelling software.
* Model calibration.
* Environment Agency approach to groundwater modelling.
* Case Studies.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of the Course the participant should understand:

Good practice in groundwater flow modelling
The nature of conceptual, mathematical and numerical models of groundwater systems
The use of data in groundwater modelling
The processes of model calibration, validation and sensitivity analysis.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of the Course the participant should have achieved the following skills:

Use of numerical models to test conceptual understanding of groundwater systems.
Set up and run groundwater flow problems using MODFLOW within industry-standard graphical user interfaces.

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Data Synthesis : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Numeracy : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Assessed
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
      • Use Of Computer Applications : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Decision Making : Assessed
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Assessed
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Written Other : Assessed
  • Application
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Assessed

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion221:0042:002 written exercises (Simple groundwater modelling & Regional groundwater modelling).
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical53:0015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching71:007:00Made up of a 1 hour Seminar & 6 x 1 hour Tutorials.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study128:0028:00Includes background reading and reading lecture notes for a full understanding of material.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Teaching and learning methods are mostly practical-based to address problem solving and software skills development, supported by necessary theory-based lectures.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M1002 written exercises at 50% each (1. Simple Groundwater Modelling (8 page max), 2. Regional Groundwater Modelling (8 page max)).
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module is focused on practical use of groundwater modelling software. Therefore, the assessment is based on 100% coursework. The first written exercise requires the student to build a new simple groundwater model, and to explore how the use of model grids and boundary conditions affect the result. This tests the students' ability to develop their own model, and their understanding of some of the theory underlying model development. The second written exercise is based on software used within the water industry in the UK, and requires the student to explore a real case study of a full-scale regional groundwater system. This tests the students' ability to handle and interpret complex datasets related to a real-world water resources application.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2016/17 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2017/18 entry will be published here in early-April 2017. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.