Together with students from the Geosciences and Hydrogeology and Environmental Geosciences Masters program and Dr. Schmidt from the Department of Applied Geology we had our annual three day field course (Catchment Hydrogeology and Monitoring Field Seminar; Fractured and Karstified Aquifers) covering the fundamentals of fractured rock aquifers and coupled hydrological systems.
During the course students were introduced to fractured rock formations with varying degrees and types of fractures ranging from massive Buntsandstein to finely fractured Muschelkalk limestones units in the vicinity of the Leinetalgraben system and the Harz mountains. Students learn the classical methods of fracture measurements, relation to local stress fields structural features as well as new methods to relate fracture network to fluid mechanical properties. Seeing such features in the field is extremely important in order to assess the validity of numerical models which are often highly abstracted from reality.
On our second day students were introduced to several hydrological measurements techniques, such as tracer tests, discharge measurements and hydrochemical analysis at a river within the Leinetalvalley.
Hydro(geo)logical field trips are often difficult to plan as aquifers are generally deep within the subsurface, hence there is not much to see. Due to the tectonic features of the Leinetal valley and its graben structure it offers a unique opportunity to investigate the aquifer properties which in many other systems are only accessible via drilling or geophysical methods.