Field hydrogeology laboratory

Key words hydrogeological surveying, contaminant hydrogeology, springs, wells and piezometers, environmental monitoring


In the field hydrogeology laboratory, located in Bologna, via Zamboni 67 (basement floor), we handle the calibration, preparation, and basic maintenance of instruments for hydrogeological field activities such as groundwater sampling from wells and piezometers; monitoring of piezometric levels and physico-chemical parameters of water; discharge gauging of springs and streams; hydrodynamic borehole testing; tracer tests from well to well, from well to spring, from cave to spring; sampling of tree trunks to screen for underground pollution. The field activities are aimed at addressing several issues, among which: the assessment of the qualitative and quantitative status of the groundwater resource; development of conceptual models for porous, fractured or karstic aquifers; impacts of underground structures on groundwater flow; the effects of climate changes on groundwater.


Equipment available to the laboratory

Besides basic equipment (fridge, field weight, fluorescent tracers and calibration standards, bottles and vials for water collection, tubes for well sampling, graduated containers for volumetric measurements), the following field instruments are prepared and maintained in the laboratory:

- mechanical current meter

- acoustic (doppler) current meter

- automatic water sampler

- water level meters

- data loggers for temperature, electric conductivity and pressure (piezometric level)

- multi-electrode probes to measure water temperature, electric conductivity, pH and Eh

- submersible pump

- peristaltic pump

- field fluorometers

- photoionization detector (PID)

- increment borer


Didactic, training and research activities

The laboratory offers its own resources to support:

  • Field practice for Second cycle degrees in: Geology and Land Management, Science and Management of Nature
  • Preparation of master degree and PhD theses;
  • Development of research project


Spring water quality monitoring with a T, EC, pH probe

Groundwater sampling from a multilevel piezometer with a peristaltic pump

Water level monitoring with a pressure data logger

Stream discharge gauging with and acoustic (Doppler) current meter

Tracer test in a stream with fluorescent dyes and a field fluorometer