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Module GLU34923: Hydrology and Water Quality

  Module GLU34923
Co-ordinator: Dr Catherine Coxon
Course Type: Optional

Theory examination (70%); In-course assessment (30%)

ECTS: 5 Credits

Contact hours & timing:

Hilary Term
Weeks 22-27, six hours per week

Module Learning Aims

This course aims to provide students with an understanding of hydrological processes, following the different pathways of water through the terrestrial part of the hydrological cycle. It also aims to familiarise students with the factors affecting groundwater quality, and to develop an understanding of groundwater quality issues in the context of integrated catchment management.

Module Content

The hydrology component of this module includes the following topics: the hydrological cycle and catchment water balances; rainfall and evapotranspiration; soil water and hillslope hydrology; river flow; hydrogeology; groundwater – surface water interaction.  The water quality component is focussed primarily on groundwater, with topics including groundwater chemistry and natural groundwater quality problems; groundwater quality issues in rural and industrial settings; groundwater quality monitoring; groundwater vulnerability and protection. The interaction of groundwater and surface water quality is also considered.

Learning Outcomes

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

  • evaluate the role of different hydrological pathways in a range of catchment settings
  • carry out calculations relating to catchment water balance, river flow and groundwater movement
  • analyse the factors controlling aquifer hydrochemistry and contaminant transport processes;
  • assess groundwater quality problems in both rural and industrial settings;
  • evaluate groundwater vulnerability to pollution; understand the role of groundwater protection schemes and of integrated catchment management.