Modelling in Geological Engineering


Distinguish between the general concepts of conceptual model, deterministic model, stochastic model, estimated model and simulated model. Learn how to generate (1) geological models, by estimation of top and bottom layers, digitalization of several cross-sections and interpolation of surfaces or application of indicator geostatistical algorithms; (2) hydrogeological models of layer-type aquifer systems by finite differences; (3) geomechanical models to compute stress in rocks affected by excavations. Contact with modelling softwares such as MOVE, ModFlow and Phase 2. Develop the capacity to understand and propose workflows for modelling purposes, from borehole data to the models, by choosing the better algorithms and specific solutions for each particular case study. Learn the limitations of the models and understand very well that they are numerical and computational representations of the reality and they have uncertainty associated.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José António de Almeida, Sofia Verónica Trindade Barbosa


Weekly - 4

Total - 62

Teaching language



Geostatistical knowledge from a first cicle.


[1] Journel, A.G. e Huijbreghts, C., 1978. Mining Geostatistics, Academic Press
[2] Soares, A., 2000. Geoestatistica para as Ciências da Terra e do Ambiente. IST Press
[3] Caers, J. (2011) Modelling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell.
[4] Wang, H.F. e Anderson, M.P., 1982. Introduction to Groundwater Modeling: Finite Diference and Finite Elements Methods. W.H. Freeman.
[5] M.P. Anderson & W.W. Woessner (1992) Applied Groundwater Modeling. Academic Press, Inc., 381p
[6] Evert Hoek, Practical Rock Engineering.

Teaching method

The curricular unit encompasses theoretical sessions supported by Powerpoint and board and participated practical sessions, where students learn how to work with modelling softwares (Move, ModFlow and Phase2) and solve problems devoted to each modelling topic: (1) geological, (2) hydrogeological and (3) geomechanical.

Evaluation method

The evaluation is of continuous type with two components (1) theoretical and practical evaluation and (2) summative evaluation. Each component contributes 50% of the final grade.

In order to obtain Frequency, it is necessary to attend 8 of the 13 planned theoretical-practical classes. Attendance is assessed by submitting the summative assessment form at the end of each class.

The theoretical-practical evaluation (1) is made by 2 individual resolution tests, about 2 hours each, at the beginning of classes 6 and 11. The first test is from the Geological Modeling component and the second test is from the Hydrogeological Modeling component. . The tests are rated from 0 to 20, and the minimum grade point average of the first two tests should be 9.5. This component may be replaced by an examination comprising both parts of the subject. Tests may include both the theoretical components and the practical components, but no computer will be required.

The summative assessment (2) consists of 10 sheets, one per class, which are available in the clip at the beginning of the practical part. They should be solved in groups of 2 students during the practical class, can have consultation, and should be emailed to the teacher at the end of the class. To facilitate the registration of the bookmarks, in the subject of the email students should use the following coding (they do not need to write anything in the message)

[MEG_A1_12345_54321] - This example concerns the delivery of the MEG sheet, class 1, made by students 12345 and 54321

Students can be asked on this sheet to answer the questions addressed in the class, both theory and practice, and it will also be normal to include prtscreen of some practical component steps as well as concrete questions for practical projects.

Subject matter

Modelling in Geological Engineering. Concepts and strategies. Workflows. Treatment and organization of georeferenced data from various sources of information (surveys, geophysics, etc..). Concept and sources of uncertainty. Object based geological modeling. Deterministic and stochastic approaches. Geological drawing, surface generation, and volume generation. Modeling of fractures and channels. Geostatistic geological modelling. Geocellular partition, geostatistical estimation and simulation with indicator variables. Groundwater modelling. Hidrogeological parameters and boundary conditions. Darcy''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''s law and continuity equation. Finite difference and finite elements numerical methods. Permeability tensor. Upscaling of permeability. Equivalent permeability. Fracturated systems flow. Geomechanical modeling (stress distribution in underground escavations).


Programs where the course is taught: