Environmental Geotechnics

The object of Environmental Geotechnics is the protection of the subsurface (soil and groundwater) from potential pollutants related primarily to waste management (e.g. landfills) and to transporting, storing and handling toxic raw materials (e.g. petroleum products, solvents). The course aims to promote (a) comprehension of the main processes that govern the spreading of pollution and its containment, (b) judicious application of the equations describing these processes and (c) familiarization with case studies of contaminated sites. A case study of contamination and remediation evolves in time and in space. To this end, the course first and foremost aims to highlight the temporal scale (several years to decades) and the spatial scale of these cases (tens to hundreds of meters, even a few kilometers when multiple neighboring pollution sources exist). Meanwhile, the course covers background necessary to assess the severity of pollution and gives a sense of when a contaminated site is a “difficult” one to remediate.


Course objectives are met when at the end of the course students: (a) can locate reliable data on the effects of contaminants on human health, (b) are confident in applying principles of mass transfer, groundwater flow and contaminant transport to problems of contamination and restoration of the subsurface, (c) are able to address the geoenvironmental aspects of landfill and clay barrier design, (d) are familiar with a wide range of remediation technologies, (e) are able to take initiatives related to modeling (i.e. related to the formulation of a simplified problem that admits solution) and, (f) are aware of some social or public policy dimensions of subsurface contamination and restoration problems.


The course has no university-level prerequisites.


Introduction (case studies of contaminated sites, legislation, sources and characteristics of contaminants), Risk assessment, Mechanisms of pollution spreading (qualitative description), Subsurface flow, Modeling of physical systems, Soil-contaminant interaction, Contaminant transport in groundwater (quantitative-mathematical description), Remediation technologies for contaminated sites, Landfill liner design and materials.






Instructors: Marina Pantazidou
Department: School of Civil Engineering
Institution: National Technical University of Athens
Subject: Environmental Engineering
Rights: CC - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

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