2nd Year

Hydrogeology of volcanic areas

Description including Unit Aims

The first part of the course will provide: a) an overview of the hydrogeological features of different volcanic systems (active and non-active, coastal, insular, peninsular and continental volcanic aquifers); b) conceptual models of groundwater flow in volcanic systems and its interactions with volcanoclastic materials (e.g. lavas, loose pyroclastics and tuffs, crystalline rock-aquifers); c) characterization of the hydraulic properties of porous and fractured volcanic aquifers and estimation methods; d) hydrogeochemical and isotopic characteristics (e.g. major and minor elements, heavy metals, gases) of volcanic groundwater and their use as natural tracers for groundwater monitoring.

The second part of the course will describe: a) sources of contamination, hydrogeochemical behavior of contaminants, and hydrothermal and mineralization processes of groundwater in volcanic environments; b) natural and anthropogenic groundwater contaminations in volcanic environments and assessment methods of natural background values and threshold values for groundwater; c) classification of geothermal systems; d) use of volcanic groundwater as natural mineral and thermal waters; f) use of volcanic aquifers as low-enthalpy geothermal energy resources (open-loop and closed-loop geothermal systems with use of heat pumps in urban environments).

Intended Learning Outcomes

The course will provide appropriately selected hydrogeological methods for the characterization, monitoring, management and surveillance of volcanic areas, as well as use of volcanic aquifers as low enthalpy geothermal and thermo-mineral resources.

Assessment Information

Oral exam on course topics and discussion of a project report (PowerPoint presentation).


For Italian students, please see

For foreign students, please see Admission regulation with reference to second cycle degree programme (laurea magistrale – lm)

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