The Hydrogeology provides a balanced program of study between theory and practical application of principles of groundwater hydrology and hydraulics to complex environmental and water resource problems.

The Hydrogeology program is designed to prepare students to enter in a professional level in the field of water resources and environmental protection.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Manuela Malhado Simões Ribeiro


Weekly - 4

Total - 122

Teaching language



The Hydrogeology program requires students to have a broad background in earth sciences and engineering.

Students must have a strong general scientific background in basic physic, chemistry, economy and mathematics.


Hiscock, K. Hydrogeology: Principles and practice. Blackwell Publishing, United Kingdom; 2007. ISBN: 978-0-632-05763-4 

Fitts, C. R. Groundwater Science. Academic Press, London, 2002, ISBN: 0-12-257855-4

Weight, W. D. & Sonderegger, J. L. Manual of Applied Field Hydrogeology. McGraw – Hill; New York, 2000. ISBN: 13:978-0-07-069639-6

Feitosa F. A. C. & Filho J. M. Hidrogeologia, conceitos e aplicações. CPRM-Serviço Geológico do Brasil – Lab. de Hidrogeologia da UFPE. Fortaleza, 2008, 3ª ed., 391 p. ISBN 2-04-011221-9

Robert A. Bisson & Jay H. Leher  Modern groundwater exploration. Wiley - Interscience, A John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Publication, 2004. 309 p.

Teaching method

Lectures and experimental classes. In the experimental sessions, students are invited to apply advanced theoretical and analytical skills in the groundwater study.

Evaluation method

To be approved in this course, the students need to have a continuous assessment or a final exam (in case the continuous evaluation during the semester is not possible).

The continuous evaluation is constituted of 3 tests with the following ponderation:

1st test - 25%

2nd test - 35%

3rd test - 40%

The exam or the average of the tests needs to be equal or higher than 9.5.

Subject matter

1. Water. Hydrology and Hydrogeology. The hydrologic cycle. Precipitation and evaporation. Formation of precipitation. Measurement of precipitation. Evaporation and transpiration. Evapotranspiration.

2. Aquifers. Properties of aquifers. Porosity and permeability. Darcy’s experiment. Hydraulic conductivity. Water table. Water table and potentiometric surface maps. Aquifer characteristics.

3. Principles of groundwater flow. Darcy’s law. Equations of groundwater flow in confined and unconfined aquifers.

4. Groundwater flow to wells. Determining aquifer parameters from time-drawdown data. Aquifer-test. Aquifer tests with observation wells.

5. Physical and chemical properties of water. Water quality and groundwater contamination. Dissolved constituents and suspended material in the water. Classification of water. Total dissolved solids. Dominant ions. Water use and water origin. Groundwater pollution. Saline intrusion. Nitrate pollution and other causes of groundwater pollutions


Programs where the course is taught: