701-0401-AAL  Hydrosphere

SemesterAutumn Semester 2021
LecturersR. Kipfer, M. H. Schroth
Periodicityevery semester recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish
CommentEnrolment ONLY for MSc students with a decree declaring this course unit as an additional admission requirement.

Any other students (e.g. incoming exchange students, doctoral students) CANNOT enrol for this course unit.


701-0401-AA RHydrosphere
Self-study course. No presence required.
Please contact Prof. Rolf Kipfer or Prof. Martin Schroth for further information.
90s hrsR. Kipfer, M. H. Schroth

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course aims to describe the relevant processes that control the terrestrial water cycle. Energy and mass exchange, mixing and transport processes are described and the coupling of the hydrosphere with the atmosphere and the solid Earth are discussed.
ObjectiveQualitative and quantitative understanding on how physical (and geochemical) processes control the natural dynamics in groundwater, lakes ans oceans and constrain the exchange of mass and energy.
ContentTopics of the course.
Physical properties of water (i.e. density and equation of state)
- global water resources
Exchange at boundaries
- energy (thermal & kinetic), gas exchange
Mixing and transport processes in open waters
- vertical stratification, large scale transport
- turbulence and mixing
- mixing and exchange processes in rivers
Groundwater and its dynamics
- ground water as part of the terrestrial water cycle
- ground water hydraulics, Darcy's law
- aquifers and their properties
- hydrochemistry and tracer
- ground water use
Case studies
- 1. Water as resource, 2. Water and climate
Lecture notesIn addition to the self-learning literature handouts are distributed.
LiteratureTextbooks for self-studying.
Surface water.
'Physics and Chemistry in Lakes', ed: Lerman, A., Imboden, D.M., and Gat, J., Springer Verlag, 1995:
Chapter 4: Imboden, D.M., and Wüest, A. 'Mixing Mechanisms in Lakes'
'Environmental Organic Chemistry', ed: Schwarzenbach, R., Imboden, D. M., and Gschwend, Ph., Willey, 2002:
Chapter 6.4: Air-Water Partitioning
Chapter 19.2: Bottleneck Boundaries

Ground water:
Fetter, C.W. 'Applied Hydrogeology', Prentice Hall, 2002 (4th edition):
Chapters 1 - 6, 8, 10, 11.

Optional additional readers.
Park, Ch., 2001, The Environment, Routledge, 2001
Price, M., 1996. Introducing groundwater. Chapman & Hall, London u.a.

a) Park, Ch., 2001, The Environment, Routledge, 2001
b) Price, M., 1996. Introducing groundwater. Chapman & Hall, London u.a.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersR. Kipfer, M. H. Schroth
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationOral examination

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Environmental Sciences MasterCourse Units for Additional Admission RequirementsE-Information