Water-rock interactions | Szegedi Tudományegyetem, Ásványtani, Geokémiai és Kőzettani Tanszék

<2023> <december>

H K Sz Cs P Sz V

Mai névnapok:


Water-rock interactions

Course information

Title of the course:

Water-rock interactions

Responsible for teaching:

Dr. Szanyi János

Other teachers:

Dr. Balázs Kovács

Dr. Félix Schubert

Dr. Gábor Bozsó


Type of the course:

Professional course




Parallel execution of the practice exam is a prerequisite


Brief summary of the lecture:


  1. Applied hydrogeology: The hydraulic and transport processes taking place in the three-phase zone and the effects concerning the groundwater will be presented in detail. Out of the causes of excess water development the ones that are connected to the groundwater flow systems and to the climatic systems play a significant role during the course. Water balance calculation based on the balance of evaporation-infiltration. Water level measuring methods and the application of local digital measuring devices are also presented. The most important data collection methods and the possibilities to access the existing data bases. Fundamental hydraulic calculations based on measurements will be made by means of analysing softwares (the determination of the horizontal and the vertical hydraulic gradient, the determination of the seepage velocity, the determination of the pressures developing around the well and the gallery and the calculation of the seepage velocity, etc.) Geophysical methods used in water resource management and their application. The anthropogenic effects on natural underwater seepage will be examined through case studies and its consequences will be evaluated. The most fundamental rules of sustainable water management will be presented.
  2. The syllabus is divided into the following subsections: Water level measuring methods and their application, data collection, the application of local digital measurement devices. Fundamental hydraulic calculations (the determination of the horizontal and the vertical hydraulic gradient, the determination of seepage velocity, the determination of the pressures developing around the well and the gallery and the calculation of the seepage velocity). Geophysical methods and their application.
  3. Hydrogeochemistry: The hydrogeochemical work is based on the representative sampling, the appropriate conservation of the samples and the accurate measurement. Thus these practical information are relevant part of the syllabus. The theory of those homogeneous processes (taking place in the humid phase), heterogeneous processes (interactions between water and minerals) and edge surface phenomena will be surveyed that determine the water-rock interaction both in superficial and sub-surface conditions. These are the followings: the solution of minerals, redox processes, adsorption, and ion exchange processes. Since in geological systems the solution happens according to two different mechanisms, it is important to distinguish the congruent and incongruent solutions, as well as balance and kinetic processes. In both cases of the two solution types, the detailed presentation of the solution influencing role of CO2 serves the understanding of chemical processes occurring in nature. The survey of the redox processes are primarily exemplified by nitrogen, iron and sulphur compounds, in case of ion exchange environmental applications are also presented besides theory. As in hydrogeochemistry the isotopes are significant indicators of the water-rock interactions, this subject matter will be discussed as well. The discussion of geological systems requires the consistent assertion of the thermodynamic approach in case of every reaction type.

The syllabus is divided into the following subsections: The reliability of hydrogeochemical data, sampling, conservation and analytical methods. The law of mass effect. Concentration-activity. The temperature dependence of the equilibrium constant. Kinetics. Solvability of minerals. Congruent an incongruent solution. The role of CO2 in solutions. Silicate weathering. Redox reactions. Ion exchange processes. Isotope geochemistry: stable and radioactive isotopes. Geochemical and isotope geochemical modelling.

  1. Palaeohydrogeology: Direct information about the physical-chemical circumstances of the fluid migration taken place in a given geological medium and about the composition of the fluid can be acquired exclusively by analysing the fluid inclusions formed during the migration. The most appropriate fluid inclusions for this analysis can be found in the (matrix or fractured) pore spaces of the rock mass, and are mainly those (primary) fluid inclusion generations that are the same age as the minerals separated from the fluid and in some cases the posteriorly developed (secondary) inclusions of these cement minerals. As the type of the formed cement minerals considerably depends on the chemical compositionof the rock mass, the prerequisite of the fluid inclusion analysis is the detailed petrographic analysis of the rock mass. As the physical characteristics of those minerals that are able to include fluid inclusions change in a wide range, the proper sample preparation is momentous to preserve the inner structure of the minerals, thus the original volume of the inclusions. Considering that the primary and secondary fluid inclusions retain information about the different phases of cementation/migration, it is fundamental to clarify the forming mechanisms of the inclusions and the aspects of the petrographic designation before conclusions containing real geological information is drawn. During the interpretation of phase transitions taken place in the course of the laboratory analysis of the included fluid, it is indispensable to know the phase diagrams and the Gibbs’ phase rule and to attain the experienced application of them. Further more it is necessary to know the compounds (H2O, CO2, CH4) forming the most frequent fluids of the inclusions captured in the the lithosphere, as well as the phase groups of the their compounds coming into being in the pressure-temperature-consistency space. Similarly, it is crucial to understand the topology of the phase groups of aqueous fluids containing chlorides. The attainment of this happens by the help of the most frequent H2O-NaCl model system.

The syllabus is divided into the following subsections: Sampling. The aspects of  the petrographic- petrological characterization of the host rock mass. Fluid inclusion petrography. The theory of microthermometry and the conditions of its application. The characteristics of the most frequent fluid types. The fundamental types of inclusions and the recognition and treatment of the transformations succeeding the inclusion. The possibilities and limits of the applied analytical methods (cathode luminescent microscopy, UV fluorescent, FT-infrared and Raman microspectroscopy). Interpretating the gained data, modelling the circumstances of the inclusion

  1. Geothermal systems: The presentation of the anomalies of heat convection and geothermal gradient through Hungarian and international examples. The fundamentals of geothermal system planning and the cascade-like utilization of geothermal systems. The legal and economic conditions regarding the establishment of geothermal systems and environmental problems arising during their construction and operation. The professional authorities relating to low, medium and high enthalpy systems will be discussed. The possible errors of geothermal systems, the most relevant arrangements to increase the lifespan of these systems, the importance of monitoring. During the lecture it will be possible to observe the relevant geothermal systems operating in the South Plain.

The syllabus is divided into the following subsections: The anomalies of the geological heat convection and geothermal gradient. Geothermal system planning and the fundamentals of the cascade-like utilization. Environmental problems arising during the construction and operation of geothermal systems.


  1. Applied hydrogeology: Groundwater connections in Hungary. The hydrogeological environment and the connections of the flow systems. Subsurface waters, like geological factors. Contamination spreading in case of groundwater. The migration of conservative and non-conservative contaminants. Theoretical fundamentals of transport modelling. The application of the MODFLOW and AQUIFER Test programs.
  2. Hydrogeochemistry: Calculations and case studies connected to the above mentioned themes. The application of the WATEQ, NETPATH and PHREEQC programs.
  3. Palaeohydrogeology: The practice of sampling. The application of the coolable-heatable table. The evaluation and interpretation of the Raman spectrums. Phase relation measurement by means of picture analysis. The interpretation of microthermometric data. Calculations with softwares using different equations of state.
  4. Geohtermal systems: Applied methods for the exploitation of geological heat (wells and sounds). Thermal water production technologies, possibilities and their effects (positive and negative water wells). The establishment and water engineering installation of a productive water base, the treatment of thermal waters. The aspects of the location and operation of injection wells. The establishment and water engineering installation of the injection well (water reception, treatment and injection). Case studies. The application of the FEFLOW and SHEMAT softwares.

Recommended reading:

  • Kovács, B., Szanyi, J. (2005): Hidrodinamikai és transzport modellezés I-II. Szegedi Tudományegyetem – Miskolci Egyetem – GÁMA-GEO, Szeged-Miskolc
  • Freeze, R.A. and Cherry, J.A. (1979): Groundwater; Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, Prentice-Hall, pp. 604
  • Fetter, C.W. (1994): Applied Hydrogeology; Macmillan College Publishing Company, pp. 633
  • Appelo, C. A. J., Postma, D. (1993): Geochemistry, groundwater and pollution A.A. Balkema
  • Clark, I., Fritz, P. (1997): Environmental isotopes in Hydrogeology Lewis Publishers
  • Ground water modeling short course. Principles and applications of modeling chemical reaction in ground water. ELTE Short Course No 9. 1997
  • Roedder, E. (1984): Fluid inclusions. Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Vol. 12. Mineralogical Society of America
  • Shepherd, T. J., Rankin, A. H. eds. (1985): A Practical Guide to Fluid Inclusion Studies. Glasgow and London, Blackie.
  • Samson, I., & Marshall, D. (eds.) (2003): Fluid Inclusions: Analysis and interpretation. Mineralogical Association of Canada, Short Course Ser. 32.
  • Diamond, L. W. (2001): Review of the systematics of CO2-H2O fluid inclusions. Lithos 55: 69-99.
  • Schubert, F., Kóthay, K., Dégi, J., M. Tóth, T., Bali, E., Szabó, Cs., Benkó, Zs., Zajacz, Z. (2007): A szakirodalomban használt fluidum- és olvadékzárványokkal kapcsolatos kifejezések és szimbólumok szótára. Földtani Közlöny, 137/1, 83-102.
  • Varsányi Zoltánné (2007): A földtudományok kémiai alapjai Egyetemi jegyzet. JATE Press
  • Juhász J. (1976): Hidrogeológia. Akadémia Kiadó, Budapest
  • Plummer, L.N. (1997) Ground water modeling short course. Principles and Applications of Modeling Reaction in Ground Water. ELTE, Department of Applied and Environmental Geology, Budapest. Lecture notes 1.
  • Parkhurst, D.L., Glynn, P.D. (1997) Ground water modeling short course. Principles and Applications of Modeling Reaction in Ground Water. ELTE, Department of Applied and Environmental Geology, Budapest. Lecture notes 2.
  • Glynn, P.D., Plummer, L.N., Parkhurst, D.L., Révész, K. (1997) Ground water modeling short course. Principles and Applications of Modeling Reaction in Ground Water. ELTE, Department of Applied and Environmental Geology, Budapest. Reprint collection.



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