Hydrogeology / Environmental Geochemistry Field Excursion

14 Feb.: Enrollments are now closed.

Time: 21 – 25 February 2022,
starting on 21 Feb., at 8.45am at School of Geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Cost: $400 per student (covers accommodation and transportation), Payment

Note: This excursion is part of the UoM GEOL90005 subject.

Contact: Ralf Haese, ralf.haese@unimelb.edu.au


This subject is taught as a 5-day field excursion to the Newer Volcanic Province (near Colac, VIC) and the Limestone Coast (near Mt. Gambier, SA). Field methods such as wellbore tests and lake sampling, field measurements (T, pH, electrical conductivity, Eh) and preliminary laboratory measurements (nutrients and alkalinity using spectrophotometry) will be demonstrated and applied. Two types of aquifers will be discussed in the context of the local geology: volcanic aquifers and limestone aquifers. Short-term and long-term changes in lake water composition and groundwater-dependant ecosystems will be discussed in terms of physical-chemical processes and conditions including surface - groundwater connectivity. Potential nutrient contamination in a limestone aquifer will be assessed through nutrient analysis within a sinkhole.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • Characterise regional hydraulic systems in the context of the regional geology, water inputs and outputs and the water composition;
  • Demonstrate sampling of waterbores and lakes, water analysis in the field;
  • Predict the evolution of water composition due to changes in the hydraulic system;
  • Predict and explain water – rock reactions in the subsurface.

Generic skills

Upon the completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • work in a small team;
  • develop scientific approaches to solve complex questions;
  • think critically and independently;
  • prepare structured and concise reports and oral presentations. 


Team presentation (5-10 minutes of presentation by each student) on 01 March, 11am – 1.00pm, 30% of final mark

Field Report due in teaching week 3 (starting on 14 March), 70% of final mark