Tuesday, May 21, 2013


We started our first excursion day with investigating several wells and relating the the landscape and hydrologic properties of the region to the geology. 

At the quarry we could see karstified limestone. There we estimated hydrologic properties and chemistry of the groundwater.

At the end of the day everyone is happy to go back to the hotel again.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Groundwater pumping

Laurus wanted to train his biceps today, he had cycled with the cart behind his bicycle for many days training his legs and felt that he needed to train some other parts of his body, all to impress of course. So to accomodate him we went to install a piezometer and do a pumping test.

Laurus in mental preparation while Eisse takes notes and translates Dutch expressions to English
Installing a piezometer by hand is quite a happening and looks funny if you are the person working the casing into the ground. But hey, anybody can do this.

Anne looking happy while Thomas trained his muscles and Koos standing by

 After this exercise the pump was ready and everybody took their positions around the observation wells. Koos explained how to use the water level sounding devices. 

Worshiping a sounding device

Pumping started and the sounding devices strated screaming like pigs. Here is an action picture of the pump,Joris and Aikaterini and Eisse without head.

The pumping test by students

Hooghoudt auger hole method

Being in Holland we use bikes for transport, even if we need to bring some heavy equipment. Our excellent mechanical university workshop produced some cart that are great in use, even on the sandy roads that we use in this course.

Bicycles packed and ready to leave on a cold day at Camping Meuleman in  Twente

A method that makes students nervous is always nice to teach. In this case it requires teamwork and fast reaction as the whole experiment is over in about 10 seconds. We measure the hydraulic conductivity (or permeability of the soil for water) with three methods. The first one is by the ring infiltrometer. This is a nice a method which does not require eagle eyes or fast reaction as the "bubbles" that need to be recorded are quite slow leaving students time to mull over the meaning of life and other irrelevant questions.

Thomas and Anne reading a Mariotte bottle during a ring infiltrormeter test

Asta and Patricia in action on the Dinkle river beach under close supervision of Robbert
This is not so for the method with the unpronounceable Dutch name, no time to think at all, just rapid action. This is a test where some water is pumped out of a filter installed in the saturated zone. As this beach is sandy, water will flow in fast and the rise of the water level that needs to be measured with a divice as simple as it is ingenious. Here you see Robbert bailing out water from the well, while Asta holds the measuring tape, Anne is ready to write, Thomas has the stopwatch and Patricia was just too cold to do anything but shiver.

Start of the action, all is relatively calm at this stage
Asta reading the measuring tape every two seconds while Anne writes things down.
After a failure in communication during the first try (happens always) the other attempts were all succesful and the data is in. Later more about the pumping test...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Start of instrumentation field course Twente

The first day of the field course was an excursion to see the geology of the Dinkel River valley in Twente, This landscape was shaped by the ice cover that existed during the last ice ages. We started the rotation of groups yesterday. Koos teaches river discharge measurement techniques, Michel does the geophysics, John makes a bicycle tour to study variation of hydrochemistry along the Dinkel River and its tributaries and I am doing soil physics and micrometeorology. The four groups of students follow all these day programmes by a rotation system. 
We are studying, while a lot of Dutch celebrate a short holiday or are getting their wedding pictures taken. You can see the activity in the picture below, where we do TDR soil moisture measurements on a popular beach along the Dinkel River. 

Soil moisture measurements on the Dinkel beach
At the same spot, Bart, Jelmer, Jet and Vince were having a tensiometer party today and when we went to the meteorology tower afterward, we saw another group of students doing geophysics in a meadow of a very friendly dairy farmer.

Bart, Jelmer, Jet and Vince with tensiometers

EM-34 geophysics in grass

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Arrival in Twente

Sunday Afternoon, beautiful weather to start a field course! We just arrived and settled in the camping houses. In the evening Koos gave a short lecture of what we are up to. Picture below was taken in the tent that was set-up for us to use for lectures and data processing.

First session in the tent...
Today we did soil physics. More to follow later.
Students pushing the trailer in the parking spot.