Hydrological Processes

Module aims

  • To understand the physical processes that determine the exchange of water at the Earth's surface. 
  • To become familiar with the physical properties that govern the movement of water through the unsaturated zone and how these can be observed in the field and modelled mathematically.
  • To understand the physical factors that control evaporation and their representation using energy fluxes and diffusive transfer.
  • To be familiar with the various physical and empirical models used to calculate evaporation and the data need to support their use.

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing this course unit, students will be able to: 

  • Have an understanding of catchment hydrological processes, which is foundational for the hydrology Master’s course.
  • Understand how measurements can be made of key hydrological variables.
  • Use models, conditioned on physical measurements, to simulate unsaturated flow, groundwater recharge and rainfall-runoff.

Module syllabus

No.

Topic

Staff

01

Introduction; Rainfall Runoff Processes

APB

02

Soil and Soil Water; Properties, Processes & Measurement

APB

03

Hydraulic Conductivity and Flow in the Unsaturated Zone

APB

04

Transient Unsaturated Flow

APB

05

Water in the Atmosphere; Water in the Plant

APB

06

Evaporation and the Penman Monteith Combination Equation

APB

07

Evaporation Measurement and Estimation

APB

08

Modelling Recharge and Runoff

APB

09

Hydrological Processes in Different Climates: Group Presentations

APB

Teaching methods

Lectures and tutorial sessions, supported by problem sheets and an item of coursework. The students are also asked to make presentations on specified topics related to the module.

Assessments

One examination and a piece of coursework.

Reading list

Core

Supplementary

Module leaders

Dr Adrian Butler