Due to the fact that groundwater pollution is the key issue regarding the study of groundwater chemistry, this module focuses on geochemical principles and an understanding of geochemical processes with regard to groundwater. Special emphasis is placed on the understanding of the interaction between groundwater, the geological environment and anthropogenic waste to provide the student with an integrated understanding of groundwater chemistry and contaminant hydrogeology as preparation for a career as a geohydrologist or geohydrochemist. Students will also be prepared to provide expert hydrochemical input to the industry.

At completion of this module the student is expected to:

  1. plan groundwater sampling, develop monitoring programmes as well as sampling and sample preparation procedures;
  2. use interpretation programmes to present and interpret hydrochemical data and to solve problems;
  3. use statistical methods to interpret hydrochemical data;
  4. apply the principles of low temperature geochemistry, including the interactions between groundwater, the geological environment, and anthropogenic waste to interpret hydrochemical data;
  5. explain the principles of redox, sorption, and ion exchange reactions;
  6. explain the principles of contaminant transport and the use of environmental isotopes in hydrogeology; and
  7. explain the formation of acid mine drainage and analyse common geochemical tests.

Prof Kai Witthüser


Elfrieda van den Berg (Marketing Manager)
T: +27 51 401 2531

Dilahlwane Mohono (Faculty Officer)
T: +27 58 718 5284

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