CIV3248 - Groundwater and environmental geomechanics - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Department of Civil Engineering


Professor Malek Bouazza (Clayton)

Dr Ahmad Mousa (Malaysia)

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Overview of concepts relating to groundwater resources and seepage, with emphasis on seepage containment in reservoirs, ponds, soil pollution and its avoidance, focusing on soil behaviour and its effect on seepage, groundwater percolation and migration of contaminant in the nearfield of waste containment facilities. Focus will also be on the function, design and construction of engineered soil barriers to prevent leakage from water reservoirs, ponds or to isolate different types of waste.


At the conclusion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. Give an engineering classification of soils, and on this basis predict how it will perform as an engineering lining material for waste containment facilities
  2. Calculate quantities of water flowing through the ground, and understand the effects that water flow has on the soil
  3. Identify the common situations when the soil becomes a factor in an engineering problem
  4. Explain the advantages and limitations of the different methods of seepage calculation
  5. Characterise contaminant migration through porous media
  6. Provide solutions to seepage problems based on the use of geosynthetics
  7. Use numerical and analytical procedures to analyse a geoenvironmental design problem


Tests: 20%

Design assignment: 40%

Examination (2 hours): 40%.

Students are required to achieve at least 45% in the total continuous assessment component (assignments, tests, mid-semester exams, laboratory reports) and at least 45% in the final examination component and an overall mark of 50% to achieve a pass grade in the unit. Students failing to achieve this requirement will be given a maximum of 45% in the unit.

Workload requirements

One 2 hour lecture, one 2 hour practice class and 8 hours private study per week.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)