Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Monitoring and Modelling Hydrological Systems
Academic Year
Semester 2
GG22610 Catchment Systems (formerly GG22510 Fluvial Geomorphology)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 2hr lectures
Practical 4 x 2hr practicals


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment i) 3000 word (max) individual modelling project (40%) ii) 3000 word (max) individual essay (40%) iii) Group seminar presentation (20%)  100%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed coursework components (i + ii). Group seminar presentation is not reassessed and the original mark is not carried forward  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  1. Describe and critically evaluate the range of models in catchment hydrology
  2. Monitor key hillslope hydrological properties
  3. Develop applications and evaluate the performance of a leading hydrological simulation model
  4. Present research results in a simulated academic conference

Brief description

The module will provide students with the theoretical framework and practical skills necessary to build, interpret and evaluate hillslope and basin scale hydrological models, with a particular focus on rainfall-runoff (flood generation) processes. A strong emphasis is placed on learning through an extended hands-on modelling case study, requiring students to engage in all aspects of the scientific method; from experimental design to model development and testing. The course will be taught through a mix of lectures, practicals and seminars.


The following themes will be investigated in this module

  • Why Modelling Hydrological Systems?
  • Approaches to Rainfall-Runoff Modelling
  • TOPMODEL Basics
  • Digital Terrain Modelling
  • Modelling Catchment Scale Flow Pathways
  • Monitoring and Modelling Soil Moisture
  • Modelling Stormwater Dynamics
  • Model Testing and Uncertainty Analysis

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Most workshops will involve numerical problem solving and explanations of physical processes will be taught from first physical principles.
Communication Verbal: Group presentations of research results Written: Reports presented from the workshops and essay
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent reading from reading list; independent development of modelling skills
Information Technology State-of-the-art software and models will be used in the modelling projects (requires access to PC, all software used will be provided). Detailed guidance provided.
Personal Development and Career planning Increased confidence in undertaking analytical tasks, working with real data and making practical interpretations. Catchment scale flood forecasting will be introduced as a primary tool in flood risk analysis used widely within the engineering sector.
Problem solving A problem based learning approach will be taken within the practical sessions, students will undertake the self-paced, self-taught workshops with guidance notes, attempting to solve problems based upon materials covered within the previous lecture.
Research skills Undertaken during independent reading and in the problem based learning workshops
Subject Specific Skills Successful students will leave the course with the beginnings of a highly marketable modelling skill in today's workplace.
Team work A mix of individual and group based projects will enable students to gain an appreciation of their role within a team setting.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Bates, P. and Anderson, M.G. (2001) Model Validation: perspectives in hydrological science. Wiley: London Primo search Beven, K.J. (2002) Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: the primer. Wiley: London Primo search Wainwright, J. and Mulligan, M. (2004) Environmental Modelling. Wiley: London Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6