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Groundwater in Fractured Bedrock Environments: Managing Catchment and Subsurface Resources

10 June 2016
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Event type:
Organised by:
Geological Society Events, GSNI, Institute of Geologists of Ireland, Northern Ireland Regional Group, International Association of Hydrogeologists, Hydrogeological Group
Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Across the UK & Ireland, fractured bedrock aquifers have been traditionally regarded as low productivity aquifers, with only limited relevance to regional groundwater resources. But it has been increasingly recognised that these complex bedrock aquifers can play an important role in catchment management and subsurface energy systems.

At shallow to intermediate depth, fractured bedrock aquifers help to sustain surface water baseflows and groundwater dependent ecosystems, provide local groundwater supplies and impact on contaminant transfers on a catchment scale. At greater depths, understanding the properties and groundwater flow regimes of these complex bedrock environments can be crucial for the successful installation of subsurface energy and storage systems, such as deep geothermal or aquifer thermal energy storage systems and natural gas or CO2 storage facilities as well as the exploration of natural resources such as conventional/unconventional oil and gas.

In many scenarios, a robust understanding of fractured bedrock environments is required to assess the nature and extent of connectivity between such energy & storage systems at depth and overlying receptors in the shallow subsurface or above ground.

This conference will focus on the role of fractured bedrock aquifers in catchment management and in managing subsurface resources. The conference invites contributions that address effective methods to characterise these challenging aquifer systems, provide insights into the key processes driving the groundwater flow regime and contaminant transport in such formations and make links to the structural geological framework and geomechanics that shape the nature and extent of effective flowpaths in these aquifer systems.

As public consensus, built on transparent research and robust understanding becomes increasingly crucial with regard to planning/implementing subsurface infrastructure, exploration projects and to protecting water resources, the conference will provide an updated overview of current research and understanding across the UK and Ireland.


For further details about the conference talks and speakers, please download the PDF conference programme.

Conference barbecue

All participants are invited to the conference barbecue to be held on the evening of 10 June, starting at 6.30pm at Cutters Wharf, which is 1km from the conference venue, beside the River Lagan. 

There is a charge of £20 to attend the barbecue.  This charge includes all food and a glass of wine.


You can either register for the conference online or download the registration form and return it to the Conference Office.

To receive a discount for the event (Fellows, Other Societies, Students etc) please complete the paper registration form and return it to the Conference Office.

The 'Other Societies' online registration rate relates to members of the AAPG, AIPG, GSA, IGI, NGWA and SEPM.


  • Dr. Ulrich Ofterdinger (Queen's University Belfast)
  • Prof. Alan MacDonald (BGS)
  • Dr. Jean-Christophe Comte (University of Aberdeen)
  • Mike Young (The Geological Society)

Supporting Partners





2016 is The Geological Society's Year of Water. 
Click here for more information on other events connected to the Year of Water 

Registration rates

£ 40.00
£ 70.00
£ 40.00
£ 40.00
£ 40.00
£ 20.00
£ 20.00

Activity rates

Optional: Conference barbecue
£ 20.00
£ 20.00
£ 20.00
£ 20.00
£ 20.00
£ 20.00
£ 20.00

Geolsoc Contact

Conference Office

The Geological Society
Burlington House