The Hydrology Class 2021 – The Schedule

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This post contains the foreseen schedule of the course. Material uploaded is subject to modifications prior to the schedule date. All the lectures will be to students present in blended format. Meaning that students can be either present or attend remotely. All of them will be recorded and uploaded to web. 

Go to the Introduction/References
Go to the Software page
Go to the lab page

Topics in bold are definitive. Topics in normal characters are still subject to modifications. 

2021-02-23 – Introduction to the course and to hydrology

  • Syllabus (Vimeo 2021); 
  • A very short introduction to hydrology (Vimeo2021, YouTube 2019,YouTube2020); 
  •  Mass & Energy budgets (Vimeo2021, YouTube 2019,YouTube2020)

2021-02-26  – Ground based Precipitations and their statistics Separation snow-rainfall – measure of precipitation


In this part of the class we describe where it rains and how much it rains using statistical concept. One important objective is to understand what are the extreme precipitations for their importance in engineering. 

  • The storyboard of the lecture (on Vimeo)
  • A general (old) overview (YouTube2019) – A general overview 2021 (Vimeo 2021, YouTube2020)
  • (X) Separation rainfall-snowfall (optional)
  • Statistics of ground precipitations (YouTube2019, YouTube2020, Vimeo 2021)
2021-03-02 – Some reviews on statistics – Return Period
  • Whiteboard (2021) on statistics
  • Whiteboard (2020) on Lognormal distribution
  • Return period (Vimeo 2021, Zoom2020)
    • Further readings
  • On the difference among risk and hazard (rischio e pericolo) Whiteboard2021.
2021-03-04 Extreme precipitations  (Storyboard2020)
  • Intensity duration Frequency curves (YouTube2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021, Whiteboard2021)
Distributions Storyboard2020
  • Gumbel distribution for extremes (YouTube2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)

Determination of Gumbel’s parameters

  • Moments method (YouTube2019, Vimeo2021)
2021-03-09 Extreme precipitations  II
  • Maximum likelihood (YouTube2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
  • Minimi quadrati (YouTube2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
  • Test di Pearsons/Chi square (YouTube 2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
  • Summary (Whiteboard2021)
2021-03-11 Extreme precipitations  III
  • More formal on Pearson’s Chi square (YouTube 2019, Zoom2020)
Beyond Gumbel
  • Generalised extreme value distribution (YouTube 2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
  • Metastatistical Extreme Value (Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
      A summary about the extreme precipitation estimations (Whiteboard)

      2020-03- 16 – Water in soil and aquifers. Darcy-Buckingham. Hydraulic conductivity. Soil water retention curves (Storyboard2020)


      Once precipitations arrive to the ground surface they either infiltrate or generate runoff. We first state how they infiltrate and, actually how water behave in the soil and in the ground. We talk about the complexity of the Earth surface that contains life and call it, the Critical Zone. To study infiltration we introduce the Darcy and Richards equations of which we explain the characteristics. 

      • Soils (Vimeo2021, YouTube 2017,YouTube2018,YouTube 2019)
      • Texture and Structure of soils (Vimeo2021,YouTube 2017, YouTube2018,YouTube 2019)
        • Textbook: Freeze and Cherry: Groundwater, section 2.8
      • Aquifers (YouTube 2019,Vimeo2021)
        • Textbook: Freeze and Cherry: Groundwater, section 2.7
      • Definitions (YouTube 2017,YouTube2018,YouTube 2019,Vimeo2021)
      2021-03-18
      • Darcy-Buckingham law (YouTube 2017, YouTube2018)
        • Darcy (YouTube 2019, Vimeo  2021)
          • Textbook: Freeze and Cherry, Groundwater, section 2.1 and section 2.12
        • Buckingham 2019 (YouTube 2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo  2021)
          • Complementary reading: Freeze and Cherry, Groundwater, section 2.2
      • Soil Water RetentionCurves (YouTube 2017, YouTube2018,YouTube 2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
        • Complementary reading: Freeze and Cherry, Groundwater, section 2.6
      • Hydraulic Conductivity
        • Conductivity in unsaturated soils (YouTube2018, YouTube2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
        • Saturated conductivity (YouTube2018, YouTube2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
        • Textbook: Freeze and Cherry, Groundwater, section 2.3 and section 2.4
      • Further readings
        • Soil depth
        • Soil Water Retention Curves
        • The old post on soils
        • Preferential flow in hillslopes
        • Ning Lu’s lectures on soil water
      • Query and answers on previous material on quantitative soil water analysis


      2020 – 03- 23  – The Richards equation  (Storyboard 2020)

      • Just the divergence Theorem (YouTube2018,YouTube2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
        • Some clarifications about Richards equation on the Whiteboards (I and II)
        • Complementary reading: Freeze and Cherry, Groundwater, section 2.6
      • Solving Richards equation (YouTube2018, YouTube2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
      2020 – 03- 25  – The Richards equation – II
      • Pedotransfer Functions – (YouTube2017,YouTube2019 I & II, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
      • Richards 1D (YouTube2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
        • Our attention on the interface sand-clay (Vimeo2021)
      • (Optional) simplifications of Richards 1D  (YouTube2017,YouTube2019)
      • Further information:
        • A  clarifying video about a few experiments on infiltration  from YouTube
      • Macropores and Three-Dimensional effects on hillslope (YouTube2019,Vimeo2021)
      •  The groundwater equation (YouTube2019,Vimeo 2021)
        • Textbook: Freeze and Cherry, Groundwater (Section 2.9 and section 2.11)
      • Further Readings or views (optionals)
        • Phenomenology of infiltration (according to Richards equation) in a hillslope (YouTube2017)
        • Water in soils measures
        • Older presentations, slides and Audios
        • Video talk given at a Summer School
        • Preferential flows
        • Bimodal Water retention Curves
        • An R package for getting soil hydrology
      Q&A – Darcy-Buckingham law, Soil Water Retention Curves, Hydraulic Conductivity etc
      Q&A – Richards equation (2021)

        2020-04-30 – Runoff Generation and propagation (Summary 2020)


        Once the rainfall gains the terrain, it can infiltrate or producing runoff. In the next we discuss the main mechanism to produce runoff.

          • Runoff Mechanisms (YouTube2019 I and  II). (Zoom 2020,Vimeo2021)
          • Simplified views of runoff  (Hortonian runoff depends on the point, Dunnian runoff on the catchment, YouTube2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
            • A  whiteboard on the same topic
          • A Whiteboard sull’indice topografico.
          Q&A – Runoff
          2020-04-01 – The surface water propagation (a brief Storyboard 2021)
          Runoff moves on the surface of the terrain according to the de Saint-Venant equation. In the following the equation is derived in the 1D case.
          • The de Saint Venant equation 1D (YouTube2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)

                Evaporation generalities (Storyboard2020)


          A consistent part of root zone and surface water evaporates and returns to the atmosphere to eventually form clouds and precipitation again. The process follows quite complicate routes and is different when happening from liquid surfaces, soil or vegetation (and BTW animals).  In this group of lectures we try to figure out the physical mechanisms that act in the process and give some hint on methods to estimate evaporation and transpiration with physically based models. 

          • Definitions (YouTube2018, YouTube 2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
          • Evaporation Thermodynamics 
            • Evaporation as Entropy growth (YouTube 2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
            • Evaporation  causes diffusion of water vapor (YouTube 2019, Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
            • Old Material: (YouTube2018)
          • Turbulent transport of vapor (and other quantities): the Dalton law (YouTube2018, YouTube 2019, Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
            • Textbook: M. Bottazzi  (cap. 2.2)
          • Whiteboards:
            • A short reminder (Evaporation as vapor transport and evaporation as phase transition)
            • On the parametrization of turbulence
            • And again on the logarithm profile
          2021-04-08
          • Evaporation as energy flux (Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
            • Textbook: M. Bottazzi  (chap. 2.3)
          • Evaporation is water limited or energy limited (Budyko approach)
            • Textbook: M. Bottazzi  (chap. 2.1.0)
          • Evaporation form soils (Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
            • Textbook: M. Bottazzi  (chap. 2.4.1-2.4.3)
          • Transpiration (Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
            • Plants physiology and resistances to transpiration (supplemental material)
            • Textbook M. Bottazzi  (chap. 3.0-3.3)
          • Various stuffs
            • Answer to a student on displacement length and roughness length (Whiteboard2020)
            • Some missing link about q(z0), the specific humidity at the evaporating surface (Storyboard2020)
            • A little more of synthesis and a summary for what is below (Storyboard2020)
              Evaporation and Transpiration Formulas
          • Schymanski & Or derivation of Penman-Monteith equation (Zoom2020, Vimeo2021)
            • Textbook: M. Bottazzi  (cap. 2.3.2-2.3.5)
          • Soil Evaporation (reprise Zoom2020)
          • *Simplification of the P-M solution (PM-FAO e Priestley-Taylor) (Zoom2020)
          • From Leaves to Canopies (Zoom2020)
            • Textbook M. Bottazzi  (chap. 3.4)
          • Questions for the intermediate examinations

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