102-0293-00L  Hydrology

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersP. Molnar
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


102-0293-00 GHydrology2 hrs
Tue13:45-15:30HIL E 4 »
P. Molnar

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course introduces the students to engineering hydrology. It covers first physical hydrology, that is the description and the measurement of hydrological processes (precipitation, interception, evapotranspiration, runoff, erosion, and snow), and it introduces then the basic mathematical models of the single processes and of the rainfall-runoff transformation, thereby including flood analysis.
ObjectiveKnow the main features of engineering hydrology. Apply methods to estimate hydrological variables for dimensioning hydraulic structures and managing water ressources.
ContentThe hydrological cycle: global water resources, water balance, space and time scales of hydrological processes.

Precipitation: mechanisms of precipitation formation, precipitation measurements, variability of precipitation in space and time, precipitation regimes, point/basin precipitation, isohyetal method, Thiessen polygons, storm rainfall, design hyetograph.

Interception: measurement and estimation.

Evaporation and evapotranspiration: processes, measurement and estimation, potential and actual evapotranspiration, energy balance method, empirical methods.

Infiltration: measurement, Horton’s equation, empirical and conceptual models, phi-index and percentage method, SCS-CN method.

Surface runoff and subsurface flow: Hortonian and Dunnian surface runoff, streamflow measurement, streamflow regimes, annual hydrograph, flood hydrograph analysis – baseflow separation, flow duration curve.

Basin characteristics: morphology, topographic and phreatic divide, hypsometric curve, slope, drainage density.

Rainfall-runoff models (R-R): rationale, linear model of rainfall-runoff transformation, concept of the instantaneous unit hydrograph (IUH), linear reservoir, Nash model.

Flood estimation methods: flood frequency analysis, deterministic methods, probabilistic methods (e.g. statistical regionalisation, indirect R-R methods for flood estimation, rational method).

Erosion and sediment transport: watershed scale erosion, soil erosion by water, estimation of surface erosion, sediment transport.

Snow (and ice) hydrology: snow characteristic variables and measurements, estimation of snowmelt processes by the energy budget equation and conceptual melt models (temperature index method and degree-day method), snowmelt runoff.
Lecture notesThe lecture notes as well as the lecture presentations and handouts may be downloaded from the website of the Chair of Hydrology and Water Resources Management.
LiteratureChow, V.T., Maidment, D.R. and Mays, L.W. (1988). Applied Hydrology, New York, McGraw-Hill.
Dingman, S.L. (2002). Physical Hydrology, 2nd ed., Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall.
Dyck, S. und Peschke, G. (1995). Grundlagen der Hydrologie, 3. Aufl., Berlin, Verlag für Bauwesen.
Maidment, D.R. (1993). Handbook of Hydrology, New York, McGraw-Hill.
Maniak, U. (1997). Hydrologie und Wasserwirtschaft, eine Einführung für Ingenieure, Springer, Berlin.
Manning, J.C. (1997). Applied Principles of Hydrology, 3rd ed., Upper Saddle River, N.J., Prentice Hall.
Prerequisites / NoticeKnowledge of statistics is a prerequisite. The required theoretical background, which is needed for understanding part of the lectures and performing part of the assignments, may be summarised as follows:
Elementary data processing: hydrological measurements and data, data visualisation (graphical representation and numerical parameters).
Frequency analysis: hydrological data as random variables, return period, frequency factor, probability paper, probability distribution fitting, parametric and non-parametric tests, parameter estimation.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
In examination block forBachelor's Degree Programme in Civil Engineering 2014; Version 01.08.2016 (Examination Block 3)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Civil Engineering 2022 (Examination Block 3)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering 2010; Version 07.03.2018 (Examination Block 1)
Bachelor's Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering 2022 (Examination Block 1)
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersP. Molnar
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 120 minutes
Written aidsSimple, non programmable pocket calculator with an empty memory; a collection of formulas is provided at the exam.
If the course unit is part of an examination block, the credits are allocated for the successful completion of the whole block.
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

Main linkWebsite Hydrology
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Civil Engineering BachelorExamination Block 3OInformation
Environmental Engineering BachelorExamination Block 1OInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterMinor in Catchment Management and Natural HazardsWInformation