Hydrological Processes

Subject ENEN90034 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours (Lectures: 2 hours per week, Workshops: 24 hours per semester)
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours





Recommended Background Knowledge:

Learning and understanding in this subject will be enhanced by the knowledge gained in the following subjects:

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Summer Term, Semester 1, Semester 2
Non Allowed Subjects:

This subject is a replacement for the following:

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Andrew Western


Professor Andrew Western


Subject Overview:

In this subject quantitative analyses of physical hydrology are introduced. Emphasis will be placed on the application of fundamental principles of mathematics and physics to the conceptualisation and analysis of the complex interactions that are the hallmark of earth systems. Students should also be able to build computer models of these interactions and interpret the output from such models.

Topics covered include global water, energy and carbon cycles, precipitation, evapotranspiration, interaction between surface and subsurface water, runoff processes, the unsaturated zone and groundwater hydrology


On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • Describe and quantitatively analyse the global energy balance and water and carbon cycles, and their interaction
  • Describe the process of evapotranspiration and perform quantitative analyses on meteorological and environmental data to compute evapotranspiration
  • Describe and perform quantitative analyses on precipitation processes and measurements
  • Describe and perform quantitative analyses on processes that control runoff and stream-flow at the hillslope and catchment scale
  • Describe and perform quantitative analyses on vadose zone processes
  • Describe and perform quantitative analyses on groundwater processes
  • Develop quantitative models of these hydrological processes
  • One 3-hour examination, end of semester (50%)
  • Three x 1000 word assignments with associated computer modelling, due throughout the semester (40%)
  • Two x 30 minute quizzes, in Week 5 and Week 10 (10%)

Hurdle Requirement: The examination component must be passed in order to pass the subject

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • Ability to apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals
  • Ability to undertake problem indentification, formulation and solution
  • Ability to utilise a systems approach to complex problems, design and operational performance
  • Capacity for lifelong learning and professional development
Related Course(s): Master of Environmental Engineering
Master of Environmental Engineering
Postgraduate Certificate in Engineering
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Engineering (Environmental)

Download PDF version.