Course Title : Fundamentals of Hydrology

Code 30300
Course Year 3rd year
Class day & Period
Credits 2
Restriction No Restriction
Lecture Form(s) Lecture
Language Japanese
Instructor Y. Tachikawa, K. Takara, Y. Ichikawa, T. Sayama, and K. Yorozu,

Course Description

The fundamental concept of hydrology is the hydrological cycle, which is various scale physical processes of water movements in the atmosphere, land surfaces, and oceans. Solar energy and gravity forces play major roles for the hydrological cycle. Solar energy drives the dynamic processes of water vapor formation from oceans and land surfaces, and transport of vapor in the atmosphere. The vapor changes to liquid and fall on the land surfaces as precipitation, then the flow of water on and under the land surfaces are driven by gravity. Hydrology is the study of the movement of water on and under the land surface and its applications to mitigate water-related disasters, develop water resources and preserve the environment. In the class, basic hydrological processes such as solar radiation, precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, surface and subsurface flow, and river flow are described.


The score is evaluated comprehensively with quiz, report, and the final examination.

Course Goals

The aim of the course is to understand the basic hydrological processes to obtain the knowledge for analyzing hydrological phenomenon and the engineering background for water resources development.

Course Topics

Theme Class number of times Description
The hydrologic cycle 1 The contents of the class is overviewed and the concept of the hydrological cycle is provided. The role of hydrology in the field of civil engineering is described.
Precipitation 1 The mechanism of precipitation is described. A numerical rainfall prediction model and the mechanism of radar rainfall observation are described.
Interception and infiltration 1 The process of precipitation interception by trees is introduced. Then the governing equation of unsaturated flow and the basic equations of potential infiltration are explained.
Groundwater flow 1 The mechanism of groundwater is explained. The physical equation to represent groundwater flow is derived from the continuity and momentum equations of water flow.
Surface runoff 3 The mechanism of rainfall-runoff in mountainous slope is explained. The kinematic wave equation is derived from the momentum equation of water flow, and then the analytical solutions of the kinematic wave model are provided.
Solar radiation and energy balance 1 Energy and water cycle driven by solar radiation is described. Basic mechanism of global warming ant its influence on hydrologic cycle is introduced.
Evaporaion and transpiration 3 The mechanism of water and energy cycle through evapotranspiration is described. Energy balance at land surface and the wind of boundary layer is introduced. Then, methods to measure the evapotranspiration is described.
Flood routing 1 The mechanism of flood routing is explained. Numerical representation method to represent channel network structure is introduced, then typical flow routing methods are described.
Hydrological model 1 A physically-based hydrological model which consists of various hydrological processes is described. Typical lumped hydrological models are also introduced.
Society and hydrology 1 How the hydrological sciences are related to the society is described through various examples.
Achievement confirmation 1 Quiz, report and the final examination is conducted to measure students' knowledge, skill and aptitude on the subject.




It is desiarable to study Hydraulics (2nd year) and probability and statistical analysis (2nd year).

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