Applied Hydrology course introduces the student to groundwater and catchment-scale hydrological modeling. Students will address practical problems learning how to build hydrological models and perform hydrological studies for water resources management, and other applications.
This course is part of the master's degree program in "Civil Engineering for Protection from Natural Risks", whose objective is to train civil engineers with high professional qualifications for the protection from hydrogeological and seismic risks.
Within the framework of this course, the course aims to provide an in-depth knowledge of 1) the main physical processes involved in water cycle; 2) fundamental issues related to water resources use; 3) measurement and analysis of hydrologic data; 4) hydrologic modeling of transport in aquifers and vadose zone; 5) hydrologic modeling of surface processes at the catchment scale; 6) main criteria to develop a complex hydrological model.
Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to 1) identify basic requirments to perform a surface or subsurface hydrological study; 2) define appropriate, even complex, hydrological modelsto determine design quantities (e.g. rainfall, discharge); 3) calibrate and validate hydrological models; 4) perform numerical simulations to define different design scenarios in groundwater studies; 5) perform numerical simulations to estimate design quantities at the catchment scale; 6) prepare project report and drawings.
teacher profile | teaching materials


Introduction to hydrology; the water cycle and water balance; general information on the hydrological models; genesis of rainfall; spatial-temporal distribution of rainfall and their spatial average; stochastic interpolation.
Water flow in saturated porous media; the scale effect; REV and the Darcy scale; Dupuit approximation; flow equations at the local and regional scales; transmissivity and storativity; boundary conditions; types of solutions; direct and inverse problems;
Water flow in unsaturated porous media; pedofunctions; Richards equation; infiltration and redistribution.
Well hydraulics; analysis of pumping well; characteristic curve; pumping tests and diagnostic curves.
Evaporation; energy and aerodynamic method; mixed method; practical formulas.
Mechanisms of streamflow generation; losses; rainfall-runoff lumped models; IUH and WFIUH; parameter estimation.
Elements of contaminant hydrogeology.
Exercises: studies on surface and subsurface hydrology based on the use of commercial software (HEC-HMS and MODFLOW)

Core Documentation

“Applied Hydrology”, Chow et al., McGraw-Hill
“Physical Hydrology”, Dingmann, Prentice Hall
Capitoli: 2, 3.1, 4.1, 4.3, 6, 7.1, 7.7,7.8, 8, 9
“Handbook of Hydrology”, Maidment, McGraw-Hill
“Quantitative Hydrogeology”, deMarsily, Academic Press
“Rainfall-Runoff Modelling: The Primer”, Beven, Wiley
“Applied Groundwater Modeling”, Anderson e Woessner, Academic Press
“Idrologia tecnica”, Moisello, La Goliardica Pavese