Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Newton Horace Winchell School of Earth and Environmental Sciences

Pfannkuch, Hans-Olaf


Tate Hall, 385-18




Dr.Ing., 1962, Paris University

Office: 2D Pillsbury Hall 
Phone: (612) 624-1620 
Fax: (612) 625-3819 
Email: h2olafpf@...



Research Interests


    My primary basic research interests are in the field of hydrogeology, concentrating on groundwater-surface interactions, hydrocarbon contamination in shallow aquifer systems, and transport and mass transfer processes in porous media with special emphasis on the use of electrical conductivity measurements to determine hydrologic characteristics of porous media. Since coming to Minnesota I have also been active in a wide variety of applied research projects dealing with groundwater and surface water, and related environmental implications, and on information requirements for managing and monitoring groundwater systems, determining well head protection zones and establishing groundwater sensitivity maps based on GIS methodology and risk analysis.

    I am in the process of developing novel approaches to capture the complexities and uncertainties inherent in environmental geology. This involves methods of verbally expressing geologic and hydrologic decision variables in terms of fuzzy logic in order to describe and model environmental problems. However, I am not averse to employing horse and buggy methods where they give good results.

Recent Honors

  • 2000-01, First National Ground Water Association's McEllhiney Distinguished Lecturer
  • 2005, Minnesota Groundwater Association's Outstanding Service Award


Professional Society Memberships


  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Water Resources Association
  • Geological Society of America (Fellow, 1995)
  • International Association of Hydrogeologists
  • National Water Well Association
  • Sigma Xi
  • Editorial Board of the Zeitschrift der Deutschen Geologischen Gessellschaft, Germany


Professional Registration


  • Certified Professional Hydrogeologist #646
  • American Institute of Hydrology


Courses Taught


  • Dynamic Earth: An Intro to Geology
  • Principles of Environmental Geology
  • Analytical Geohydrology
  • General Hydrogeology
  • Transport Phenomena and Analytical Geohydrology
  • Fraud in Geology
  • Water and Society
  • Regional Aquifer Systems in North America


Supervised Graduate Theses


  • Sarah L. Emery, MS, 1996 (Plan B) Glacial landform assemblages of Scott County -- sediment characteristics and regional hydraulic properties.
  • Manuela Junghans, MS, 1996 (Plan B), Geohydrologic aspects in planning of wetland creation and restoration projects in Cambridge (Isanti County) and Marshall (Lyon County), Minnesota.
  • Thomas McL. Loretto, MS, 1996 (Plan B), On the influence of scale of measurement on hydraulic conductivity measurements in a glacial moraine setting, north-central Minnesota.


Selected Publications


  • Pfannkuch, H.O. (1996) Consid*rations concernant l'*laboration d'un syst*me d'indices de vuln*rabilit* hydrog*ologique, Rapport Int*rieur, ONEP, Rabat, Juin 1996, pp. 20.
  • Mironenko, V.A., Pfannkuch, H.O., Rumynin, V.G., and Kanivetsky, R.A. (1995) Hydrogeological characterization of sanitary protection zones for well fields in the former USSR, Hydrol. Science &Tech. 11(1-4): 104-121.
  • Pfannkuch, H.O., *Hunt, S.J., and *Burman, S. (1993) Pilot project for determination of hydrogeologic sensitivity of Scott County, MN, in Proceedings Geographic Information Systems and Water Resources (Harlin, J.M. and Lanfear, K.J., eds) March 14-17, 1993, Mobile, AL. Am. Water Resources Assoc. Tech Publ. Series TPS 93-1: 101-111.
  • Pfannkuch, H.O. (1990) Elseviers Dictionary of Environmental Hydrogeology. Amsterdam, Elsevier Science Publishers, xii + 332 pp. 

    *designates student author


Recent Research Support


  • U of MN Graduate School Funding