Environmental Tracers in Groundwater Hydrology

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Course program (PDF)

This course will help you to use appropriate sampling methodologies to acquire reliable data, as well as how to interpret and model analytical results. The knowledge will lead to you making meaningful improvements in your understanding of hydrogeological processes and conceptual groundwater models. The course will review the basic principles of environmental chemistry and tracer hydrology, and is aimed primarily at hydrogeologists and environmental scientists in the public and private sectors. It assumes prior knowledge of the basics of groundwater hydrology, and will include numerous case studies and worked examples, including many local studies that have been conducted by the internationally recognised presenters.

Topics covered will include:

  • Equilibrium and kinetics 
  • Origin of solutes and modification during transit through the hydrosphere
  • Natural weathering processes and redox reactions
  • Introduction to PHREEQC modelling
  • Chloride and bromide as tracers in groundwater hydrology
  • Tracers for quantifying mixing and aquifer connectivity
  • Understanding rainfall-recharge pathways using stable H/O isotopes of water
  • Recharge and residence time estimation for young groundwater (chlorofluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, tritium)
  • Recharge and residence time estimation for old groundwater (carbon-14, chlorine-36, helium-4)


Dr Glenn Harrington
Innovative Groundwater Solutions

Dr Glenn Harrington is a hydrogeologist with 20 years’ experience in the fields of groundwater assessment and management. He has extensive experience in the design, undertaking and review of groundwater sampling programs for environmental tracers. His speciality is the use of hydrochemistry, stable and radioactive isotopes, and natural and anthropogenic trace gases to investigate groundwater recharge, surface water – groundwater interaction, and inter-aquifer leakage.

Dr Andrew Herczeg
Geochemical Solutions

Dr Andrew Herczeg has 35 years of experience in isotope geochemistry of groundwater, rivers and lakes. Prior to his current role as a freelance consultant, he led the Hydrology Program at CSIRO. He also spent a number of years in North America and Europe that included coordinating several international cooperation projects.