Groundwater and Runoff Modelling

15 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 1HY000

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Earth Science A1N
Grading system
Pass with distinction, Pass with credit, Pass, Fail
Finalised by
The Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 8 March 2012
Responsible department
Department of Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

120 credits with at least 90 credits in Earth Sciences and 15 credits in Mathematics, or 90 credits in Physics.

Learning outcomes

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

  • classify and understand different types of models in hydrology
  • use hydrological models for flood forecasting, water resources assessment, impact assessment of climate change and land-used change
  • evaluate hydrological models with respect to their applications on gauged and ungauged basins and on stationary/non-stationary climatic conditions
  • apply commonly occurring parts/equations of which a groundwater or runoff model is constructed and thus understand how the model can and cannot be used
  • evaluate groundwater resources using pumping data.
  • estimate non-reactive and reactive contaminant spreading in groundwater
  • apply models to geologically heterogeneous systems by means of geostatistical approaches and the estimation of uncertainties


Mathematical description of basic processes: precipitation, evaporation, snow-melt, runoff, soil-water dynamics and groundwater recharge. Calibration, parameter optimisation, validation of run-off and groundwater models and their inherent uncertainty. Reservoir theory. Applications of HBV and Wasmod models.

Aquifers, land subsidence and groundwater resource evaluation. Estimation of transmissivity and storativity by Theis and Jacobs methods. Contaminant (non-reactive and reactive solutes) transport in groundwater. Modelling of contaminant transport in groundwater. Parameter estimation and geostatistical/stochastic approach to groundwater modelling. Special topics in groundwater modelling. Exercise with MODFLOW and GMS packages.


Lectures, computer exercises, project work and project report.


Course assessment includes two exams, one for groundwater (6 credits) and one for runoff (4 credits), along with obligatory activities (5 credits) such as written reports.