Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit explores a broad range of topics related to groundwater hydrochemistry. It covers the fundamental hydrochemical processes (water-rock interactions, redox reactions, role of microbes) that affect the evolution of groundwater quality in unimpacted and anthropogenically stressed aquifers. The unit also introduces students to environmental tracers and isotopes (such as radiocarbon, CFCs and stable isotopes of water) to determine groundwater ages and constrain hydrogeological processes. Students develop an understanding of theoretical and practical aspects of geochemical and reactive transport modelling as tools to interpret hydrochemical and environmental tracer data and to predict the future evolution of groundwater quality.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate knowledge of groundwater quality issues and hydrochemical principles; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the fate of environmental tracers in aquifers and their use to determine groundwater residence times; and (3) demonstrate an ability to apply geochemical and reactive transport modelling to quantify processes affecting groundwater quality and predict changes in groundwater quality.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) assignment to assess an understanding of advanced hydrochemical processes and modelling; and (3) assignment to assess understanding of environmental tracers and isotopes. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Henning Prommer
Unit rules
Successful completion of
two Unit(s) GEOS4401 Hydrogeological Systems
and Unit(s) GEOS5501 Groundwater Flow Modelling
Contact hours
workshops up to 2 x 4 hours per week
total workload is 150 hours
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.