Modelling of Aquatic Ecosystems

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1TV446

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Biology A1F, Earth Science A1F, Technology A1F
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (3), Pass with credit (4), Pass with distinction (5)
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 7 March 2011
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

120 credits and Aquatic ecosystems and ecosystem services together with Empirical Modelling

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course, the student should be able to:

  • identify water quality problems and rank them according to importance for ecosystem services using a given data set
  • analyse data using dynamic and static models
  • use tools for calibrating and validating models
  • evaluate model uncertainty
  • model and interpret spatial and temporal differences in water quality
  • propose measures against water quality problems


The course is oriented towards solving present and predicting future water quality problems in lakes, watercourses and coastal waters using modelling. Well-tested modelling tools (from simple mass-balance models to more complex dynamic and static models) are used in the course which also covers testing methodology (calibration, validation, uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis). Methods for determining representative and compatible data, for discovering threshold values and for handling non-linear relationships are described. Variation patterns in data material are discussed and measures against water quality problems are determined using modelling techniques.


Teaching primarily consists of supervised modelling exercises. The first half of the course is held as lectures and practical data exercises. The second half consists of a project where a model should be applied to evaluate expected effects from different suggested measures against a water quality problem.


The first half of the course is graded using results from a written examination (7 ECTS). Credits (0.5 ECTS) for computer exercises are given after oral presentations and computer lab reports. The project is graded using a written report (7 ECTS) and an oral presentation (0.5 ECTS).