Module DXX-3707:
Catchment Modelling & Analysis

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Sopan Patil

Overall aims and purpose

This module aims to teach:

  1. the role of modelling within the natural and environmental sciences
  2. the elements involved in building hydrological and biogeochemical process models at a catchment scale
  3. obtaining and preparing the input data needed for the models
  4. calibration and parameter uncertainty in catchment models
  5. analysing the consequences of catchment management decisions through multi-stakeholder interaction

Course content

Major themes covered

  1. Importance of models in scientific inquiry
  2. A brief history of different approaches to catchment modelling
  3. Introduction to MATLAB programming language
  4. Obtaining and processing the input data for models
  5. Modelling of hydrological processes
  6. Automated calibration of model parameters
  7. Lumped vs. distributed catchment models
  8. Polyscape: A landscape analysis tool for modelling the effects of multi-stakeholder interaction in catchment management decisions

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Grade D- to D+ Adequate knowledge of the key concepts in catchment modelling. Evidence of limited ability in the use of MATLAB programming language for data visualisation and building catchment models. Structured, accurate and relevant description of the existing catchment models in the literature. Basic level of critical evaluation expected.

good

Grade C- to B+ Clear understanding and thorough knowledge of the key concepts in catchment modelling with ability to independently use MATLAB programming language for data visualisation and building catchment models. Evidence of reading and knowledge of the connection between hydrological and biogeochemical processes on the landscape, as well as the role of humans in modifying them. Thorough analysis and critical evaluation of existing catchment models in the literature. High standard of presentation.

excellent

Grade A- to A** Clear understanding, wide and thorough knowledge of the key concepts in catchment modelling. Evidence of a substantial ability in using MATLAB programming language for data visualisation and building catchment models. Evidence of substantial reading and appreciation of the connection between hydrological and biogeochemical processes on the landscape, as well as the role of humans in modifying them. Critical evaluation of existing catchment models in the literature with well-reasoned opinion. Elegant and flowing presentation, with flair for subject.

Learning outcomes

  1. A thorough understanding of basic environmental modelling concepts such as the control volume approach, interaction and coupling of multiple processes, input data preparation, and parameter calibration

  2. An ability to visualise the data and build process-based models in MATLAB programming language.

  3. An ability to understand and critique existing catchment models in the literature, especially their assumptions and limitations.

  4. An understanding of how models can inform land-use decisions by different stakeholders that affect catchment processes.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
COURSEWORK Practical 1 - Introductory MATLAB programming 25
COURSEWORK Practical 2 - Building and running a hydrological model using MATLAB 25
ESSAY Individual Written Report 30
COURSEWORK Catchment Management and Modelling 10
GROUP PRESENTATION Catchment Model Presentation 10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Lecture 10
Private study 80
Practical classes and workshops 10

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
  • Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
  • Collect, analyse and interpret primary and/or secondary data using appropriate qualitative and/or quantitative techniques.
  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.
  • Preparation of effective maps, diagrams and visualizations.

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Optional in courses: