Civil MDC

Hydrogeology Groundwater science and engineering Alain Dassargues

Water does not belong to us; we only borrow it (modified from the quotation “We do
not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” of unknown
origin). If we use or pollute water, the challenge is to restore and provide it back with
at least the same quality and quantity as previously.
Hydrogeology refers to geology and hydrology engineering including the uncertainties
of natural sciences and rigorous quantification techniques. Also, field work and
theoretical background are complementary. All these opposite but complementary
aspects can be considered the Yin and Yang of groundwater.1
“History outlines and defines the methods of science.”2 Hydrogeology is more a
question of methods than of local results, even if the latter can be of paramount
importance for the development and welfare of the local human society.
Even if pressure-wave propagation is quasi-instantaneous; groundwater flow
through the pores and microfissures of the rock is slow, allowing a series of biochemical
and physical processes to occur. The praise of slowness has its own meaning for
groundwater.
As summarized by Jacob Bear (2011), “… modelling large-scale effects from smallscale
influences is a delicate act. The starting point is the use of a magnifying glass to
observe and understand what happens at points within the phases and on interphase
boundaries and then, by employing homogenization of one kind or another obtain
mathematical models that describe these phe

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