Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

J. Michael Brown
ESS 454
Seattle Campus

Hydrogeology

Covers the analysis of groundwater flow systems, geologic controls, and hydrologic properties; basics of chemistry and solute transport in groundwater; and the use of numerical models. Considers local examples and groundwater resource management. Prerequisite: ESS 311; recommended: ESS 310.

Class description

Hydrogeology encompases the relationship between geologic materials and the process of water movement within the Earth. Water within the matrix of rocks and soil has a volume some 70 times greater than all water in streams, rivers and lakes. This groundwater is an extraodinarily precious societal resource that is increasingly at risk as a result of exploitation and contamination.

ESS 454 (Hydrogeology) provides an introduction to the important principals and practices associated with an understanding of groundwater and its utilization. This is a three credit (three lectures a week) course. The content has significant quantitative and conceptual components that are best learned through weekly homework sets and weekly 15 minute quizes (which substitute for a midterm). Students will fully utilize fundamental supporting math and science (calculus, physics, chemistry) in meeting the learning goals of this course.

ESS 454 is recommended for students in the Environmental Option of the BS in Earth and Space Sciences.

Student learning goals

Analysis of groundwater flow systems

Characterization of hydrologic properties of geologic materials

Geologic controls on groundwater flow

Basics of groundwater chemistry and solute transport

Use of numerical models

Issues in groundwater resource management

General method of instruction

Three lectures a week

Recommended preparation

ESS students taking Hydrogeology should have completed ESS 311. Non-ESS majors should discuss their background with the instructor.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly homework sets

35% homework 35% quizes 30% final


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by J. Michael Brown
Date: 02/26/2010