TU Delft
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2016/2017 Civil Engineering and Geosciences Master Civiele Techniek
Coupled Processes in Subsurface
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Prof.dr.ir. T.J. Heimovaara    T.J.Heimovaara@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
Education Period
Start Education
Exam Period
Course Language
Course Contents
Many processes in the subsurface show a complex interaction with each other. An example is consolidation during loading of saturated and unsaturated deformable porous media, like soils. Deformations in such media lead to changes in the pore volume and corresponding changes in pore fluid pressures which initiate seepage and affect the general behaviour. Understanding such coupled processes is of great importance to settlements and stability, in particular when permeability is small, compressibility is large and strength is limited.
Other examples of coupled processes are the Thermo-chemo-hydro-mechanical coupled processes found in situations where flow of water, heat and solutes play an important role such as waste management (both in landfills as well in underground nuclear repositories). A very recent field where coupled processes play a significant role is biology as a driving force for the dynamics in temperature, chemistry, hydrology and mechanics in the so-called Biological Geo and Civil Engineering.

In this course the students develop skills for analyzing coupled processes. They can derive the controlling partial differential equations and implement these equations in Matlab to solve realistic problems. The processes discussed during the course should be familiar as they have already been addressed in different courses. In this course the students are expected to solve realistic problems where these processes are coupled to each other.
Study Goals
The student can recognize the occurrence of coupled processes in the subsurface, develop and implement mechanistic conceptual models how the processes interact. The students can implement realistic complex problems in modern simulation and engineering tools like Matlab.
Education Method
During the course period, the students are supposed to follow six lectures in which different approaches to coupled processes are introduced. During these six lectures are series of assignments will be introduced. The students are expected to carry out the assignments in which coupled problems of increasing complexity will need to be analyzed and implemented.

The students are expected to read background material in the form of research articles from the literature and chapters from several hand books available in digital form in the TU Delft library.

The assignments need to be carried out during the lecture period.
Computer Use
Tutorial lectures will be held in the computer room. All assignments are computer based and require programming in Matlab. A Matlab tutorial will be provided and students are expected to be able to work with Matlab.
The achieved level of knowledge, understanding and problem solving skills of the impact of coupled processes in the sub-surface for engineering will be assessed during the final exam. The exam consists of a series of questions which are related to the assignments carried out by the students.

The final grade for CIE4365 is based the result of the exam and the assignments, 50%/50%.