Module Identifier GG30220  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Tom Coulthard  
Semester Semester 1  
Pre-Requisite GG22510  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours 10 x 2 hours  
  Practical   12 Hours Practicals / Field Days. 6 x 2 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours unseen examination (select 2 questions from 4)  40%
Semester Assessment Laboratory/Practical Report  20%
Semester Assessment 3500 word assessed essay  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed CA component. Resit failed examination. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
By the end of this module, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of fluvial models and their application to real systems.
2. Appreciate the complexity and uncertainty of modelling, and be fully aware of the limitations and difficulties.

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Apply where appropriate multi dimensional flow models.
2. Demonstrate knowledge of the limitations of different modelling approaches.
3. Evaluate and interpret a river profile model.
4. Apply landscape evolution models.
5. Use of Spreadsheets to apply simple numerical models to fluvial systems.
6. Communicate results ideas and concepts via the WWW.


The aim of this module is to review in detail the number of fluvial modelling schemes available today and assess their suitability, accuracy and effectiveness over a range of spatial and temporal scales .


The course covers the wide range of techniques and philosophies used to simulate the complex interactions within the fluvial system. Each methodology is reviewed systematically with discussion of the relative merits and disadvantages. Emphasis is placed upon the student to develop their own opinions regarding the suitability and effectiveness of these methods. Whilst exact techniques and formulae will be reviewed, the content of the course is not heavily mathematical, its main aims being to discuss theory, application and reasoning.

Modelling methodologies, eg. Process based, statistical, black box.

Hydraulic modelling 1. One and two dimensional flow modelling

Hydraulic modelling 2. Three dimensional flow modelling and limitations.

Sediment transport simulation

Long profile evolution

Meander models

Landscape evolution models

The cellular automaton

Non linear processes: Chaos and self organised criticality.

Neural networks and AI

Model validation

Synthesis: Future directions for fluvial modelling

Many items discussed in the 2nd year fluvial geomorphology course will be integrated and built upon including process landform association, equilibrium's and thresholds. Extra emphasis is placed upon retaining models within context and the importance of rigorous validation and calibration.


This module is at CQFW Level 6