Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia

Modelling in Geological Engineering



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia


Departamento de Ciências da Terra



Teacher in charge

José António de Almeida, Sofia Verónica Trindade Barbosa

Weekly hours


Total hours


Teaching language



Distinguish between the general concepts of conceptual model, deterministic model, stochastic model, estimated model and simulated model. Learn how to generate (1) geological models, by estimation of top and bottom layers, digitalization of several cross-sections and interpolation of surfaces or application of indicator geostatistical algorithms; (2) hydrogeological models of layer-type aquifer systems by finite differences; (3) geomechanical models to compute stress in rocks affected by excavations. Contact with modelling softwares such as MOVE, ModFlow and Phase 2. Develop the capacity to understand and propose workflows for modelling purposes, from borehole data to the models, by choosing the better algorithms and specific solutions for each particular case study. Learn the limitations of the models and understand very well that they are numerical and computational representations of the reality and they have uncertainty associated.


Geostatistical knowledge from a first cicle.

Subject matter

Modelling in Geological Engineering. Concepts and strategies. Workflows. Treatment and organization of georeferenced data from various sources of information (surveys, geophysics, etc..). Concept and sources of uncertainty. Object based geological modeling. Deterministic and stochastic approaches. Geological drawing, surface generation, and volume generation. Modeling of fractures and channels. Geostatistic geological modelling. Geocellular partition, geostatistical estimation and simulation with indicator variables. Groundwater modelling. Hidrogeological parameters and boundary conditions. Darcy''''s law and continuity equation. Finite difference and finite elements numerical methods. Permeability tensor. Upscaling of permeability. Equivalent permeability. Fracturated systems flow. Geomechanical modeling (stress distribution in underground escavations).


[1] Journel, A.G. e Huijbreghts, C., 1978. Mining Geostatistics, Academic Press
[2] Soares, A., 2000. Geoestatistica para as Ciências da Terra e do Ambiente. IST Press
[3] Caers, J. (2011) Modelling Uncertainty in the Earth Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell.
[4] Wang, H.F. e Anderson, M.P., 1982. Introduction to Groundwater Modeling: Finite Diference and Finite Elements Methods. W.H. Freeman.
[5] M.P. Anderson & W.W. Woessner (1992) Applied Groundwater Modeling. Academic Press, Inc., 381p
[6] Evert Hoek, Practical Rock Engineering.

Teaching method

The curricular unit encompasses theoretical sessions supported by Powerpoint and board and participated practical sessions, where students learn how to work with modelling softwares (Move, ModFlow and Phase2) and solve problems devoted to each modelling topic: (1) geological, (2) hydrogeological and (3) geomechanical.

Evaluation method

The examination has two components one theoretical and practical (50%) and another of project (50%). The theoretical and practical component comprises two tests each of 25%. The project component includes the delivery of two reports where each is 25%.

The tests refer to matters of geological and hydrogeological modeling. Have a duration of 1 hour each account 25% of the final grade. This component can be replaced by an final exam (50% of grade).

The two reports comprise the resolution of problems (1-geological and hydrogeological modeling; 2-geomechanical modeling) and compiling their results and comments. The two problems are partially solved in the practical classes, and should be developed in groups of 2 students. Each report is 25% of final grade.

There are no minimum requirements for each component ratings, and the required final approval average is to be higher than 9.5.