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, 25 April 2012
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
  • related water quality problems and their changes over time to local, regional and global forces
  • propose and critically assess measures against water quality problems and model the impact of those measures
  • construct and analyse data with conceptual, statistical and simple dynamic models
  • use tools to calibrate and validate models and to assess their uncertainty
  • differentiate between the linear and nonlinear relationships
  • analyse data using dynamic and statistical models
  • perform and understand trend analyses of water quality variables with and without abrupt change
  • simulate future water quality


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). The course includes the modelling of processes within a water system and its catchment area. Local, regional and global driving variables for water quality are analysed and discussed. Time series analyses are conducted to monitor changes in water quality over time. An important component of the course is to simulate future water quality under different scenarios and to arrive at the most appropriate action to address current and future water quality problems.


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 models are 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 (6.5 ECTS) and computer exercises with written and oral presentation (1 ECTS). The project is graded using a written report (7 ECTS) and an oral presentation (0.5 ECTS).