Key aspects of successful groundwater modeling

Summer Academy 2017


October 9 – 13, 2017 | Berlin | Germany


Experts from groundwater consulting, hydrogeology and numerical analysis will provide you with the adequate tools for making your groundwater-modeling projects a success.




This hands-on course will enable you to address the issues commonly faced in flow and transport modeling:

  • Why is the right conceptual model so important for setting up a working numerical model?
  • How does mesh quality influence the quality of model results?
  • How can I reduce model run times?
  • What are the reasons for model instabilities (oscillations) and how can I overcome them?
  • How can I avoid instabilities and which measures can I adopt to minimize or eliminate them? How do these measures influence the model results and how do I have to assess them?

A basic understanding of the underlying physical, mathematical and numerical concepts is the key to success in any groundwater-modeling project. To equip you with this knowledge, we have designed this course as a combination of theory and practice sessions including computer exercises, with optional project work.

The lectures will be given in English or German as appropriate.


This course will be offered in two modules:

Module 1 — Lectures and Exercises

Days 1 through 3: Morning lectures will be complemented by hands-on computer exercises in the afternoon.

Module 2 — Guided Seminar Work on Selected Problems

Days 4 and 5: In small groups of three or four, the participants work out a practical project assignment, and, in the end, present their results for general discussion. Module 2 is particularly designed for participants from universities but anyone is welcome to enroll.


Course content


The following topics will be addressed:

  • Mass and energy balance; partial differential equations: derivation, practical formulation and simple solutions; physical parameters such as porosity, permeability, transmission coefficient, diffusion coefficients, density, and viscosity
  • Short introduction to numerical methods such as Finite Differences, Finite Volumes, and, in particular, Finite Elements; advection and dispersion; spurious oscillations
  • Highly nonlinear problems; variable-density flow; coupled-equation systems; convection phenomena; unsaturated flow; numerical strategies
  • Wrap-up; general discussion, caveats, and take-home recommendations

We will use the groundwater software FEFLOW for the computational exercises.


Meet our experts

Prof. Dr. Ralf Kornhuber
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Einstein Center for Mathematics (Chair)
Prof. Dr. Carsten Gräser
Department of Mathematics and Computer Science
PD Dr. Fabien Magri
Department of Environmental Informatics (ENVINF)
Dr. Carlos A. Rivera Villarreyes
Head of Support MIKE Powered by DHI Deutschland
Prof. Dr. Irina Engelhardt
Chair of Hydrogeology, TU Berlin
Dr. Björn Onno Kaiser
FEFLOW Consultant

Contact us


FU Berlin

Fachbereich Mathematik und Informatik, 
Institut für Mathematik 

Ekaterina Engel, Room 131

Arnimallee 6

14195 Berlin

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(1300 Euro for both modules)

After registration you will reiceive an invoice with bank details.

Your registration will be completed upon by transferring the corresponding fee.

Scientists in academia

(260 Euro for both modules)

After registration you will reiceive an invoice with bank details.

Your registration will be completed upon by transferring the corresponding fee.

Students from Berlin universities


To validate your registration you need to pay the deposit.

Payment can be made cash only here: Ekaterina Engel, Room 131, Arnimalle 6, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem. On the first course day you will get your money back.