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.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Groundwater quality is an important constraint on human groundwater use and a critical factor when assessing the environmental impacts of agricultural or mining operations. This unit introduces the key hydrogeochemical processes that determine water quality in groundwater systems. Students also learn to apply environmental tracers and isotopes to constrain hydrogeological processes and subsurface residence times. Students develop theoretical understanding and practical skills in measuring and interpreting hydrochemical data from groundwater systems. The refined understanding of groundwater flow paths and rates gained from these approaches can then be used to support groundwater resource management.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) describe common groundwater quality issues; (2) identify and explain hydrogeochemical processes controlling groundwater quality; and (3) quantify hydrochemical processes in groundwater systems.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) hydrochemical analysis report; and (3) a presentation. 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)
Dr Sarah Bourke
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 3 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.