Dr. Ramon Aravena, University of Waterloo (Canada)

Dr. Daniel Hunkeler, Neuchâtel University (Switzerland)

Grup de Mineralogia Aplicada i Medi Ambient, Universitat de Barcelona (España)


Dr. Albert Soler i Gil . Universitat de Barcelona.
Dra. Neus Otero. Universitat de Barcelona.


Ground water quality studies focus on understanding where contaminants come from and the transformations that they may experience in the subsurface geochemical environments. This course deals with the application of environmental isotopes, 13C, 2H, 37Cl, 15N, 18O, 34S and 11B, to trace the origin of contaminants and the attenuation processes that take place in the aquifer. The topics comprise groundwater pollution from agricultural sources (nitrate), industrial activities (LNAPLs, DNAPLs), as well as urban activities.
Environmental isotope methods are supported with a large variety of case studies that integrate isotope and geochemical data sets within the context of the ground water flow regime to highlight the objectives, approach and interpretation of the method. Invited lectures of Spanish researchers and a field trip to a polluted site are included in the course.

The course is designed for environmental consultants, government scientists, researchers and students dealing with investigation and remediation of contaminated groundwater.




Dr. Aravena is a Research Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo with 20 years experience in the application of isotope techniques in hydrology. He has been involved in numerous groundwater studies in Latin America, Canada and the U.S. related to evaluation of groundwater resources and groundwater protection. Dr. Aravena has been consulting for 15 years as part of the expert pool of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria, for their projects worldwide. His current research focus on groundwater contamination caused by agricultural, urban and industrial activities using environmental isotopes as tracers.
Dr. Aravena was a member of the Waterloo Centre for Groundwater Research, a worldwide recognized center of excellence in groundwater studies. His teaching involves Isotope Hydrology and Geochemistry courses in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Waterloo and courses on Isotope Hydrology in Latin America organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency and in the educational program of the National Ground Water Association.
He is the author and co-author of over 100 referee publications and over 40 technical papers. He serves as a reviewer for North American and European funding agencies, and for several journals including Water Resources Research, Ground Water, Journal of Hydrology, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Environmental Science and Technology, Organic Geochemistry and Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta.



Dr. Daniel Hunkeler is research director in the field of groundwater quality and teaches courses in hydrochemistry and contaminant hydrogeology. He obtained a diploma and PhD in Environmental Sciences at the ETH Zurich. From 1998 to 2001 he was a postdoctoral fellow and research associate in the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Waterloo, Canada. His research interests include:

- Investigation of the behaviour of organic and inorganic compounds in the subsurface
- Development of new methods to characterize contaminated sites and to trace chemical and microbial transformation processes
- Development of cost-effective in situ remediation technologies
- Use of stable isotopes as tracers for transport and transformation processes



The Mineralogia Aplicada i Geoquimica de Fluids research group has a wide experience in the application of isotope geochemistry to environmental studies. The group has been pioneering in the application of multi-isotopic techniques to hidrogeology in Spain, with the set up of analytical techniques for the determination of the 15N and 18O in dissolved nitrates, and 13C in dissolved organic compounds by CSIA (PCE. TCE, DCE,...).
The recent projects of the research group are focused on the study of induced remediation of groundwater polluted by agricultural and industrial activities. The members of the group participate in seveal post-graduate courses: Curso Internacional de Hidrología Subterránea (UPC), Recursos Minerales: Geología y Gestión Ambiental (UIA-UH), among others.