Module Identifier WS20310  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Stephen Tooth  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   10 x 1 hr  
  Practical   5 x 1 hr  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam 1 x 2 hr written examination50%
Semester Assessment 5 problem sets50%
Supplementary Exam2 Hours Resit one written examination100%

Learning outcomes

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


This module is designed to provide students with a conceptual, factual and practical introduction to the dynamics of hydrological systems, with particular reference to the flow of water and transport of sediment in channels, on hillslopes and in the ground (as soil or groundwater). The emphasis is on dynamics over short timescales and small areas, and how these dynamics can be represented quantitatively.


  1. Introduction: properties of fluids
  2. Flow in alluvial channels
  3. Flow resistance
  4. Flow resistance in sand-bed rivers
  5. Flow resistance in gravel-bed and boulder-bed rivers
  6. Sediment transport in rivers
  7. Flow and sediment transport on hillslopes
  8. Groundwater movement

Problem set 1 - Morphometric and hydraulic parameters of river channels
Problem set 2 - Downstream channel changes
Problem set 3 - Regimes of fixed-bed flow
Problem set 4 - Bedforms in sand
Problem set 5 - Predictive equations for ephemeral gully width

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Robert, A. (2003) River Processes: An Introduction to Fluvial Dynamics Arnold, London
Gordon, N.D., McMahon, T.A., Finlayson, B.L., Gippel, C.J., and Nathan, R.J. (2004) Stream Hydrology: An Introduction for Ecologists 2nd edition. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, 526pp. ISBN 0-471-93084-9
Knighton, A.D. (1998) Fluvial Forms and Processes: A New Perspective Arnold, London
** Consult For Futher Information
Billi, P., Hey, R.D., Thorne, C.R. and Tacconi, P. (eds) (1992) Dynamics of Gravel-Bed Rivers John Wiley and Sons, Chichester
Hey, R.D., Bathurst, J.C. and Thorne, C.R. (eds) (1982) Gravel-Bed Rivers: Fluvial Processes, Engineering and Management John Wiley and Sons, Chichester
Bridge, J.S. (2003) Rivers in Floodplains: Forms, Processes, and Sedimentary Records Blackwell, Oxford
Richards, K.S. (1982) Rivers: Form and Process in Alluvial Channels Methuen, London
Thorne, C.R., Bathurst, J.C., and Hey, R.D. (eds) (1987) Sediment Transport in Gravel-Bed Rivers John Wiley and Sons, Chichester


This module is at CQFW Level 5