Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


HAMPTON, Duane R., Dept. of Geosciences, Western Michigan University, 1903 W. Michigan Avenue, MS 5241, Kalamazoo, MI 49008,

Hydrogeology class labs can have a wide range of activities, including: 1. lab permeameters, constant and/or falling head; 2. grain-size analysis; 3. pump test; 4. slug tests; 5. pump and slug test analysis software; 6. trip to a nearby gravel pit, quarry, or outcrop; 7. watch a well being drilled; 8. study a contaminated site; 9. write a report on that site; 10. study the hydrologic cycle at a site; 11. stream gauging; 12. dye tracing in lab sand tanks; 13. groundwater sampling; 14. water quality analysis; 15. simple groundwater computer models; 16. visit a contaminated site; and 17. many more.

I have done all of these activities at one time or another in my hydrogeology-related classes over the last 27 years, and have done nine of them in my introductory hydrogeology class. Now in my introductory hydrogeology class I do # 8, 9, 10, and 12. I use the Hydrogeology Laboratory Manual by Lee, Fetter and McCray for activities # 8—10. [Practical Problems in Groundwater Hydrology by Bair and Lahm is another excellent source of lab activities]. In Western Michigan U’s 6-week hydrogeology summer field course we have taught for 26 years, we do # 2—9, 13—14 and 16—17. I have used this course’s availability to rationalize not doing other activities in our intro course’s lab. But fewer than half of the students in the first hydrogeology course take our field course.

To enhance student understanding of groundwater systems, I have decided to include #6 again in the intro course’s lab following # 12. This will reinforce the key concepts of aquifer heterogeneity and stratigraphic correlation currently taught in # 8, 9 and 12. Groups of 3 students will map the exposed glaciofluvial aquifer using panoramic photos taken at the gravel pit, and predict the paths of hypothetical releases through the aquifer similar to following dye traces in the lab sand tanks.