Professional Course: Vadose Zone in Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology (UP)

The Vadose Zone: Variable Saturation in Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
Presented by the Department of Geology, University of Pretoria

Variably saturated flow conditions are increasingly relevant to geotechnical and hydrogeological assessments. This is most evident in the so-called vadose zone that extends from land surface to the phreatic surface, and which is characterised by variably saturated hydrological systems mostly at negative pore water pressures. The Vadose Zone: Variable Saturation in Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology short course explores this zone which is fundamental in understanding the subsurface component of the hydrological cycle, emphasising processes such as evapotranspiration, interflow, and groundwater recharge. Variable saturation provides special conditions whereby water not necessarily gravitates, and where aerobic or oxidising conditions can exist. This has important implications on groundwater recharge, vulnerability and susceptibility to contamination, as well as on the integrity of infrastructure and water management in the built environment.

Course Content:
Session 1

  • Earth materials, their  distribution,  materials  and  mass properties, and weathering of rock
  • Mechanics of soil, rock, discontinuities  and  fluids, and emphasising  phase relationships, quantification, variably saturated flow mechanisms  and regimes
  • Hydraulics: the   hydrological   cycle,   parameters  and quantification, and hydrostratigraphy

Session 2

  • Variably  saturated   flow   through    improvement   of conceptual models at different scales of assessment using physical models, laboratory experiments, field validation, and geochemical methods
  • Intergranular, fractured,  and  karstic systems  at  partial saturation,  including  interfaces, networks, discreet  and bulk systems, and anthropogenic influences

Learning outcomes:
After successfully completing this course, you will

  • have  advanced   theoretical   and   practical  knowledge pertaining  to variably saturated flow from a geological and hydrogeological context
  • have improved  your understanding and  application  of subsurface  flow processes  and  mechanisms, as well as how these can be quantified and mitigated, and
  • know how to infer behaviour and project life implications based  on   improved   conceptual  models   of  variably saturated systems in soil, rock and karst.

Who should enrol?
This course  is suitable  for earth,  water  and  environmental scientists and engineers, working with cross-disciplinary data pertaining  to the impacts of subsurface waters and seepage on water quality, the integrity of infrastructure, and the due diligence for environmental consequences of altering water budgets and flow paths.

Course fees:
R3 000.00 per delegate (VAT incl.)
Course   fees   include   all  course   notes,   text   books   and refreshments during contact days.
Course fees  must be paid in full 14 days prior to course start dates. Proof of payment can be submitted to enrolmen[email protected]

Admission requirements:
Prospective delegates should at least have a four-year qualification  in natural  science  or  engineering (BSc Hons, BTech, BEng), or equivalent.

Accreditation and certification:
Enterprises University of Pretoria (Pty) Ltd is wholly owned by the  University of Pretoria. As a public higher  education institution, the University of Pretoria functions in accordance to the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997. Enterprises University of Pretoria offers short  courses  on behalf  of the  University and these  short  courses  are not  credit-bearing, and do not lead  to formal qualifications  on the  National Qualifications Framework (NQF) – unless stated  otherwise. Delegates  who successfully complete  a short  course  and  comply  with the related  assessment criteria (where  applicable)  are awarded certificates  of successful completion  and/or  attendance by the University of Pretoria.

Registration and enquiries:
Course coordinator

Roelánnie van Deventer

Tel:          +27 (0)12 434 2565

Cell:      +27 (0)83 704 4426


Course leader

Dr Matthys Dippenaar

Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences

Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology

Vadose Zone Course UP 20 Feb 2018_print brochure

National Chairperson: Mr Fanus Fourie
Vice-Chairperson: Ms Nicolette Vermaak
National Treasurer: Mr Yazeed van Wyk
National Secretariat: Dr Jaco Nel
National Coordinator: Ms Elanda Schaffner

Please contact this Committee via [email protected]

Copyright © 2018 Ground Water Division of Geological Society of South Africa. All Rights Reserved. Website Design by Digital Takeover.
twitterfacebookenvelopelinkedin linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram