Catchment Response Analysis

Dit vak wordt in het Engels aangeboden. Omschrijvingen kunnen daardoor mogelijk alleen in het Engels worden weergegeven.

Doel vak

The objectives of the course are to provide the student with scientific
theory, tools and methods for understanding and evaluating the response
of a catchment to precipitation in terms of surface water flows. This
requires knowledge about processes regulating the flow of water on the
land surface and in river channels, the techniques for quantification of
surface water flows and statistical methods for predicting extreme
runoff events. In addition, experience with surface water flow modelling
for predicting the behaviour of rivers under different land use or
climate conditions should be acquired.

The course contributes to the Knowledge and Insight and
Application of Knowledge and Insight final attainment levels of
the Msc Hydrology Programme. Knowledge and insight is obtained
through the studying of theory as provided in the textbook, during
the oral lectures and through self-study of scientific papers on
rainfall-runoff response topics. Knowledge and insight is applied
in the setting up and execution of rainfall-runoff models and the
critical evaluation of the model simulation with measured data.

Inhoud vak

The course consists of three main topics. We start with runoff processes
leading to stormflow. This is followed by lectures on different
hydrological modelling practices, and goodness-of-fit criteria. Finally,
an overview of hydrodynamic and hydraulic theory that governs flow in
open channels is given as well as an overview of discharge measuring
Topics are hill slope hydrology, hydrograph analysis, statistical
methods to describe and quantify spatial and temporal variation in
catchment runoff and reservoir and flow routing in hydrology
The spectrum of available models for runoff modelling, from classical
lumped models to data-demanding distributed, physically-based
hydrological models, will also be discussed. Finally, theory and
understanding will be applied in a series of modelling exercises
applying the HBV-light rainfall – runoff model to simulate runoff of the
Dinkel River in East Netherlands.


The tuition consists of eleven classroom lectures and four computer
modelling workshop sessions. The number of contact hours is in the order
of 42.


The assessment is through a written exam (75%) and a
selection of assignments and the modelling workshop report (25%). Grades
of all assessments should be at least a 5.5

Vereiste voorkennis

The student should be familiar with the subjects of the BSc course
Introduction to Hydrology and Climatology (AB_1074)


Main Textbook:
S.L. Dingman, 2015. Physical hydrology, 3rd edition. ISBN:

Articles (provided on Canvas)

McGlynn, B. L.; McDonnel, J. J. & Brammer, D. D., A review of the
evolving perceptual model of hillslope flowpaths at the Maimai
catchments, New Zealand. Journal of Hydrology , 2002, 257, 1 - 26

Seibert, J. & Vis, M. J. P. Teaching hydrological modeling with a
user-friendly catchment-runoff-model software package. Hydrology and
Earth System Sciences, 2012, 16, 3315-3325

Selection of Reader "Hydrology of catchments, rivers and deltas",
TUDelft, 2016

Chapter 5 of Hydrodynamics, surface water hydraulics and catchment
rainfall– runoff response analysis, by A.A.van der Griend and
M.J.Waterloo, 2014

Extra optional articles:

Kirchner, J. W. Catchments as simple dynamical systems: Catchment
characterization, rainfall-runoff modeling, and doing hydrology
backward. Water Resources Research, 2009, 45, W02429

Blöschl, G. Wilderer, P. (Ed.). Scaling and Regionalization in
Hydrology. Treatise on Water Science , Elsevier, 2011, 519 - 535


First-year M.Sc. Hydrology students, students from Earth Sciences, Earth
and Economy or Natural Sciences M.Sc. programmes.

Overige informatie

The course is open for participation to students from alternative M.Sc.
programmes at the VU University Amsterdam, or from other universities.
If you are a professional and wish to attend this course you can also
participate on a contract basis. In both cases please do contact the
course coordinator to find out if you fulfill the background knowledge
requirements and for enrollment procedures.

Aanbevolen voorkennis

The student should have a good background knowledge of mathematics and
physics at BSc level and have basic computer skills. In addition, the
student should have basic knowledge of Earth Science, as provided by the
System Earth course (AB_450067).

Algemene informatie

Vakcode AM_450003
Studiepunten 6 EC
Periode P1
Vakniveau 400
Onderwijstaal Engels
Faculteit Faculteit der Bètawetenschappen
Vakcoördinator dr. ir. M.C. Westhoff
Examinator dr. ir. M.C. Westhoff
Docenten dr. ir. M.C. Westhoff

Praktische informatie

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