A hydrogeological borehole that will be used as an educational tool for the students of a planned new course on geoenvironmental risks and remediation is being drilled at the Faculty of Science of Masaryk University at Kotlářská. The borehole will significantly improve field instruction available at the faculty.
Plans for the new course and the borehole, which is designed to be used by students of the course, are based on the changing demands for graduates.
“Traditional geology, which mostly focused on finding and mining raw materials, is in decline, as witnessed by the decreasing output and the closure of many mines in the Czech Republic. At the same time, other issues – such as remediation of former mining sites and other types of environmental remediation or groundwater quality – are gaining in importance. And this is the focus that we would like to offer our students in the future,” says Jaromír Leichmann, the dean of the MU Faculty of Science.
The hydrogeological borehole will be thirty metres deep and sixteen centimetres in diameter. Drilling the borehole will take the geologists about one or two days depending on the soil conditions.
“We expect that the first couple of metres will consist of a so-called anthropogenic backfill, which will allow us to see what has been going on at the premises of the faculty over the past centuries. Natural layers of deposits and rocks should start at a depth of two to five metres,” says Leichmann, adding that the material extracted during the drilling will also be used for student instruction.
The borehole will be connected to a pump and discharge piping system as well as other devices in order to measure groundwater level and temperature. It will constitute the basic tool for teaching hydrogeology and will be available to all students. While the faculty has previously offered field instruction, not all students could take part in it.
The new hydrogeological borehole will be ready for the start of the new academic year although the new course will take longer to prepare. It should be accredited from 2018.
The borehole and the related systems and devices are part of the Strategic Education Investment Project (SIMU+) at Masaryk University, which is financed by the Operational Programme Research, Development and Education and includes the construction of a new training hospital at the Bohunice campus.