Beneficiary : University of Liège

The University of Liège (ULG) is a state-funded university with about 20,000 students and 3300 academic staff. The ArGEnCo Department of Civil Engineering hosts the GEO³ unit with about 40 people.

Main skills are concentrated on

  • identification, characterization and quantitative evaluation of groundwater (quantity and quality aspects)
  • geophysical imaging
  • joint hydrogeophysical inversion
  • multiple-point geostatistics
  • detailed multi-tracer tests combined with deterministic/conditional stochastic modelling for flow and contaminant transport in the scope of environmental studies, protection zones, vulnerability assessment, DPSIR analysis, georesources management, characterization of contaminated sites.

Members involved in ENIGMA ITN

Prof. Alain Dassargues (Professor)
Prof. Frederic Nguyen (Professor)
Dr. Thomas Hermans
Dr. Serge Brouyère
Dr. Nolwenn Lesparre

Hosting of ESR

Beneficiary : Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) has an international reputation for applied research on water resources, including the characterization and restoration of coupled groundwater-surface water systems and their ecosystem functions.

Experimental field site at the Selke River (part of the Terrestrial Environmental Observatories – TERENO and the Critical Zone Exploration Network – CZEN) equipped with 25 piezometers to monitor riparian and hyporheic flow and solute transport. Automated sensors with data loggers for water level, temperature and EC as natural tracers and concentrations of O2, and NO3 in piezometers and in the stream. Software and support for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and reactive transport simulations as well as high performance computing and visualisation infrastructures.

Members involved in ENIGMA ITN

Prof. Jan Fleckenstein (Professor)
Dr. Nico Trauth
Dr. Ulrike Werban

Hosting of ESR

Beneficiary : Forschungszentrum Jülich, Agrosphere Institute IBG-3

The research activities of the Agrosphere Institute aim at improving our understanding of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems with a specific focus on agricultural and soil-groundwater systems. Its research serves as a basis for the development of management strategies for a sustainable use of terrestrial resources such as water and soil and for the quantification of the effect of climate and land use changes on the dynamics and adaptation of terrestrial systems.

The activities are organised in three major research areas: modelling of terrestrial systems, environmental processes and technologies, and terrestrial biogeochemistry. An important part of the activities within the field of environmental processes and technologies focuses on the development of hydrogeophysical methods to characterise subsurface processes and to improve our understanding of hydrological processes from the lab to the catchment scale.

The Agrosphere Institute operates the Krauthausen aquifer test-site and coordinates the TERENO (Terrestrial Environmental Observatories) network in Germany. A lab measurement setup and a borehole measurement system for broadband SIP has been developed. GPR antennas measuring with different frequencies as well as ERT systems are available. For tomographic inversion, a linux cluster at the Agrosphere Institute and computation time on the HPSC infrastructure at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) is available.

Members involved in ENIGMA ITN

Prof. Jan Vanderborght (Professor)
Prof. Jan van der Kruk (Professor)
Prof. J.A (Sander) Huisman (Professor)

Hosting of ESR

Beneficiary and Coordinator: CNRS

The National Centre for Scientific Research is the largest public transdisciplinary research organization in France. It manages 1029 joint research units with French universities and industries.

The main coordination team of ENIGMA ITN is part of the Geosciences Rennes laboratory, a Joint Research Unit between CNRS and Rennes 1 University (UMR6118), that covers a large range of disciplines in earth sciences. It has received an A+ research rating from the 2010 AERES international committee evalution.

The hydrogeology group has a triple international expertise on:

  1. modelling of multi-scale properties of fracture networks
  2. modelling of flow and transport processes in heterogeneous media
  3. field investigations of flow structures and chemical processes

Researchers from UMR 7619 “Milieux environnementaux, transferts et interactions dans les hydrosystèmes et les sols” (METIS, CNRS – UPMC) are also participating in the ENIGMA ITN. METIS is a multidisciplinary research unit specialized in water, element, and contaminant circulation. It is the largest group in France developing the use of geophysical methods to study and quantify hydrogeology processes in the near surface. The area of expertise of the research group involved in the project, Physical Hydro[geo]logy, includes the use of electrical and electromagnetic methods at every scale (from laboratory samples to airborn survey) and every frequency (from DC resistivity to very high frequency ground penetrating  radar).


Géosciences Rennes – Coordinator of ENIGMA ITN
Dr. Philippe Davy (CNRS research director, coordinator of ENIGMA)
Dr. Laurent Longuevergne  (CNRS scientist)
Prof. Olivier Bour (Professor)
Dr. Tanguy Le Borgne (Professor)
Dr. Yves Méheust (associate Professor)
Dr. Alexis Dufresne (CNRS scientist at the Rennes ecology laboratory)

UMPC Paris – UMR7619, METIS
Dr. Ludovic Bodet (associate Professor in Paris)
Dr. Damien Jougnot (CNRS scientist in Paris, deputy coordinator of ENIGMA)

Hosting of ESR

The H+ network of hydrogeological sites

The CNRS is coordinator of the H+ network of hydrogeological sites, which regroups 6 highly instrumented field observatories for long term monitoring and experimentation. The Rennes team supervises the Ploemeur fractured rock observatory, which hosts each year numerous scientific campaigns for testing new instruments and methodologies. The hydrogeology group has equipment and facilities for achieving flow and transport experiments both in the lab and in the field.

Research projects led within the ENIGMA framework are conducted in closed collaboration with the H+ network. Datasets are inserted in the H+ databases.


University Montpellier 2 – UMR 5243
Dr. Cédric Champollion (associate Professor)
Dr. Jean Chéry (Researcher)
Dr. Philippe Pézard (Researcher)

University Poitiers – UMR 7285, IC2MP
Dr. Gilles Porel (associate Professor)
Dr. Jacques Bodin (associate Professor)

University of Avignon – UMR 1114 EMMAH (UAPV-INRA)
Dr. Konstantinos Chalikakis (associate Professor)

Beneficiary : CSIC Barcelona

CSIC is the largest public multidisciplinary research organisation in Spain with a staff of more than 7000 researchers. Research at the IDAEA department is devoted to the study of natural and anthropogenic changes occurring in the ecosystems of the geosphere, with emphasis on the water cycle. The GHS (Groundwater Hydrology Group) is active on research in stochastics, inverse modelling, reactive transport, and reactive transport.

The Hydrogeology Group maintains laboratory facilities for analyses of water and soils, sample processing, and experimentation of mixing and solute transport in heterogeneous media. The field sites at the Llobregat include the artificial recharge basin at Sant Vicenç dels Horts and the Sea Water Intrusion Barrier at the Llobregat Delta. The Field Site Argentona is strongly instrumented and equipped for high resolution visualisation of sea water intrusion processes. The group develops numerical codes for non-isothermal multiphase flow, heat transfer and reactive transport, and inverse modelling of flow and transport.

Members involved in ENIGMA ITN

Prof. Jesus Carrera (Professor)
Prof. Carlos Ayora (Professor of Geochemistry)
Prof. Marco Dentz (Professor)
Dr. Maarten Saaltink (Professor, Doctor in Civil Engineering)

Hosting of ESR