Unlike the conceptualization of flow through a porous medium, comprehension of groundwater flow within fractured rock formations requires visualization of the three-dimensional framework of the discrete planar discontinuities through which water flows. Combining the spatial analysis of discontinuity networks with the principles and practices of traditional groundwater geology, Hydrostructural Geology provides for both the visualization and quantification of groundwater flow within structural domains of differing, sometimes overlapping, scales of observation.
In this interactive course, a refresher on the concepts and methods of structural geology is integrated with an in-depth quantitative analysis of a gravity flow system constrained within discrete, confined, two-dimensional pathways not co-oriented with the prevailing hydraulic gradient. Building on the conceptualization of groundwater movement through a network of discrete, intersecting, non-randomly-oriented planar discontinuities, attendees will:

  • Integrate field relations into hydrogeologic solutions
  • Evaluate structurally-controlled deflection of contaminant plumes
  • Assess the effects of the scale of observation on heterogeneity and anisotropy
  • And, explore the behavior of separate phase liquids/gases in hydrostructural domains