Monday, February 6, 2017

Hydrology 2017

This year I decided to introduce strong news in my Hydrology course.  Not only a change of topics, but also a change of perspective. I increased widely the hours in the lab (up to 60%) of the class, and I arranged the lectures in a way that they could be followed by a three hour laboratory. Almost no lecture will be without numerical experiments. Another innovation is the use of Python instead of R.
I made this because of the large endorsement Python had among hydrologist and because:

  •  its object oriented structure is much more firm than the R one. 
  •  Besides, Python seems to be easy to learn by engineering students. 
  • Some of my colleagues seem to agree to converge toward the use of Python in their classes
R remains the first choice to do statistics. However, we have limited time. The class is 60 hours, and the material to convey a lot.
Here it is the foreseen schedule of the class:
Corso di Idrologia 2017

Legend: T - Theoretical lecture  - L - Laboratory class (this can include theoretical parts, but mostly students will exercise with tools)
  1. T - Introduction to the class
  2. T - A terrain analysis  primer. 
  3. L - Introduction to QGIS. Introduction to the JGrasstools in OMS.
  4. T - A little of Statistics and Probability. 
  5. L -  Delineation of catchments' characteristics with JGrasstools and QGIS.
  6. T - Precipitations. Mechanisms  of formation of precipitation. Ground based statistics. Extreme precipitations. 
  7. L - Intro to Python - Loading/reading files. Time series and their visualisation. (See Notebook 0 an 1 here.)
  8. T - Extreme precipitation statistics (parameters' estimation)
  9. L - Estimation of extreme distributions parameters. (See Notebook 2 to 5 here.)
  10. T -  Radiation (YouTube 2017). 
  11. L - Estimation of shortwave and longwave radiation in a catchment (data, executables, sim files are available through Zenodo. Who is interested in the source code and further information, plese refers to GEOframe or the Github GEOframe components site). 
    • A brief rehearsal of the matter given by Michele Bottazzi (M.B.) (YouTube)
    • Estimation of solar radiation with JGrass-NewAGE components (YouTube) by M.B. Part I
    • Estimation of solar radiation with JGrass-NewAGE components by M.B. (YouTube) Part II
  12. T - Spatial interpolation of environmental data
  13. L - Practical spatial interpolation of rainfall and temperature.  
  14. T - Water in soils. - Darcy-Buckhingham law- Soil water retention curves and hydraulic conductivity. 
  15. L - Numerical experiments on soil water retention curves and hydraulic conductivity.
  16. T -  Richards equation and its extensions.
  17. L - Experiments with a Richards 1D simulator
  18. T - Elements of theory of evaporation from water and soils - Dalton. Penman-Monteith. Priestley-Taylor
  19. T - Estimation of evaporation and Transpiration at hillslope scale
  20. L -  Estimation of evaporation and transpiration at catchment scale
  21. T - Water movements in a hillslope and runoff generation
  22. T - On the impact of climate change on the hydrological cycle (YouTube2017)
Verifications and tests 2017


  1. Never seen worse made material. It would be inappropriate even for high school lessons.

    1. Great Anonymous, let me know why, and I will learn something.