Module aims

  • To introduce the concepts and techniques used in hydrometry, focusing on description of the theory and practice behind traditional, new, and future techniques of measuring hydrological fluxes.
  • To cover the theoretical basis of streamflow and precipitation measurements, drawing on theory from associated modules, but concentrating on the practical issues governing choice of methods, accuracy and cost.
  • To introduce new and emerging methods for hydrometeorological measurements, with focus on remote sensing and pervasive sensing networks.
  • Describe and discuss data storage, quality control further processing.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Have an excellent appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of different methods to measure hydrological fluxes, and will be able to select appropriate methods based on field conditions, stream type, and application, and to process and analyse hydrometrical data accordingly.

Module syllabus

  • Introduction in hydrometry, including aims, objectives and examples. 
  • A critical review of flow measurement methods, including the velocity-area method; measurement of stage; stage-discharge relationships; the slope-area method; dilution gauging; float gauging; weirs and flumes; ultrasonic cross-path method; electromagnetic methods; acoustic Doppler Velocity meters, local non-contact methods. 
  • Hydrometrical data analysis and quality control, including peaks over threshold, annual maxima, application of extreme value distributions, regional flood frequency analysis, and double mass curves. 

The full-day field trip allows students to apply knowledge learned and implement a number of the flow measurement techniques studied. 





Background to hydrometry. Velocity-area method. Current meters. Float gauging 

Dr W. Buytaert 


Measurement of stage. Stage-discharge relationships. Identification and extrapolation. Slope-area method. 

Dr W. Buytaert 


Tutorial. Section and channel controls. Weirs and flumes. 

Dr W. Buytaert 


Tutorial. Side and bed-mounted Acoustic Doppler Velocity meters. Dilution gauging. Rising bubble method. Electromagnetic gauging stations. Acoustic time-of-flight method 

Dr W. Buytaert 


Data management and quality control. Data error and uncertainty analysis 

Dr W. Buytaert 


Full-day field trip 

Dr W. Buytaert, Mr Nick Everard 

Teaching methods

Teaching consists of lectures and tutorials, and a full-day field trip.


Information will be provided separately.

Reading list

Module leaders

Dr Wouter Buytaert