VIU Global Challenges Initiative
July 1-5, 2019
This Graduate Seminar will be led by:
- Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Canada (Prof. Erwan Gloaguen, Scientific coordinator)
- University of Lausanne, Switzerland
- Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy
In cooperation with
- Laval University, Canada
- University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Sustainable management, characterization, protection and rehabilitation of aquifers rely on our capability to predict groundwater flow and transport over time. This is only possible if we are able to represent the hydraulic properties of aquifers (e.g. hydraulic conductivity) and to numerically predict their fluxes of water and solutes, also considering external factors and constraints such as extraction, recharge and boundary conditions. This is particularly important in the case of coastal aquifers, which are threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change, and increasing demand for potable water driven by population increase and associated anthropogenic activities (e.g. golf courses, manufacturing, restaurants, agriculture) along the shores. Consequently, authorities are seeking better tools to forecast and manage coastal aquifers in such environments. This implies a need for building efficient methodologies to characterize, model, and compute flow and transport, and to update the model parameters over time using data from adapted monitoring tools. This series of lectures aims at teaching the participants the state-of-the-art of in situ hydrogeophysical characterization techniques, geophysical and hydrogeological numerical modeling, geostatistical modeling and data inversion and assimilation.
- Back to basics: review of the physics of groundwater flow, role of density in heads, how to represent seawater intrusion
- Hydrogeological modeling: how to solve numerically those equations, boundary & initial conditions, what are the different techniques, advantages and disadvantages, accuracy criteria & numerical error, what are the codes and tools available, key issues?
- Important knowledge about these systems gained by numerical modeling: the Henry problem and its variants, demonstration, effect of 3D geometry of the aquifer base, effect of the heterogeneity of the aquifer in 2D, or in 3D.
- Uncertainty and geostat: basic concepts of geostatistics to represent uncertainty and model spatial and temporal heterogeneity, variogram, kriging, simulation.
- The limits of the multigaussian model: concept of connectivity, impact on flow and transport, overview of alternative geostatistical models: objects, plurigaussian and MPS
- Geophysical methods (electrical resistivity tomography, time-domain and frequency-domain electromagnetics, seismic reflection and refraction): basic underlying physics, experimental setup (including monitoring), modeling
- Conventional and advanced inversion topics: Coupled hydrogeophysical inversion, joint inversion and multimethod surveys, outstanding challenges;
- Introduction to data assimilation. Theory and assumptions of the Kalman filter. Extension to nonlinear models: the ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) and its variants.
- Example of machine learning in geosciences and hydrogeological problems.
The four-day training session will be followed by a one-day field trip in Adige-Euganeo Reclamation Authority district (south of the Venice Lagoon), with a visit to the Ca' Bianca pumping station and a presentation of land management problems in coastal areas. The graduate seminar will have the form of formal lectures followed by practical examples with real data.
Learning outcomes for participants
Participants will learn basic and advanced theoretical and practical concepts of the different disciplines involved in aquifer characterization (AC). All the theoretical aspects will be demonstrated with real examples giving the students a perspective of the best practices in the different disciplines in AC. Participants will then be able to choose the best tools and methods in their future research and works in AC. They also will have the chance to interact with world-class reknown researchers in the field of AC and develop their network.
Levels of students and suitable fields of study
This Graduate seminar is offered to both Master’s students and young researchers early in their PhD. Open to candidates from all the VIU Member Institutions.
Excellent candidates from non-member institutions will be also considered and evaluated, although these candidates will pay fees and are not eligible for financial support.
Fees & Grant Support
Students from the VIU member universities will pay no participation fees. Grant support is also available to support, partially or fully, the costs of international travel and accommodation.
Students from non-member institutions are not eligible for VIU grant support. PhD Students in EU universities may be eligible for Erasmus+ funding. Refer to international offices in home universities or contact VIU Erasmus office.
For further information: