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ES 417: Hydrology and the Atmospheric- Water Cycle

Course Title

Hydrology and the Atmosphere-Water Cycle

Course Code

ES 417

Course Type




Year / Semester

1st / 1st (Subject to change)

Instructor’s Name

Adriana Bruggeman (Lead Instructor), Hakan Djuma



Lectures / week

1 (2h)


2 field trips (half day each); 3 labs (3 hrs each)

Course Purpose and Objectives

The course aims to provide: (1) knowledge on the hydrologic cycle and the atmosphere; (2) understanding of hydrologic processes and water resources management; (3) the capacity to apply hydrologic field and laboratory equipment and equations to measure and model hydrologic processes.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students should understand the distribution and movement of water around the globe, know how to measure and model hydrologic processes, be able to compute water and energy balances at plot, watershed and basin level. Students should have acquired knowledge on water resources management.




Course Content

1.  The hydrologic cycle and the atmosphere
a.  Review and quantification of global hydrologic processes

2.  Precipitation
a.  Precipitation processes
b.  Measurement of precipitation
c.  Spatial analysis and applications
d.  Frequency analysis and applications

3.  Infiltration and soil water processes
a.  Soil water relations
b.  Soil physical properties
c.  Infiltration and unsaturated flow equations
d.  Measurement of soil water properties and processes

4.  Evapotranspiration
a.  Evapotranspiration processes
b.  The concept of reference evapotranspiration
c.  Evapotranspiration measurements
e.  Computing reference evapotranspiration
f.   Computing actual evapotranspiration

5.  Surface runoff
a.  Runoff measurement and analysis at field level
b.  Runoff measurement and analysis at watershed level
c.  Peak flow analysis

6.  Stream flow
a.  Stream characteristics and geomorphology
b.  Stream flow quality and biota
c.  Stream flow measurement

7.  Groundwater
a.  Groundwater flow processes
b.  Surface water groundwater interactions
c.  Flow to wells

8.  Water resources management
a.  European water policies
b.  Green, blue and grey water footprints
c.  Sustainability

 Teaching Methodology

Lectures, readings, field and lab practicals, homework assignments.


Ward, A.D. and S.W. Trimble. 2004. Environmental hydrology, 2nd ed. CRC Pres LCC, Boca Raton, FL, USA,

Davie, T. 2008. Fundamentals of Hydrology, 2nd ed. Routledge, New York and London.

Recent journal articles.


Coursework and exam



Publications & Media