NIGK15027U Surface Hydrology

Volume 2015/2016

MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics


The course teaches fundamental understanding of surface hydrology with focus on measurements and estimation of precipitation, run off and evapotranspiration. We evaluate the most common methods for estimation of theses parameters and discuss the uncertainties associated with both measurement and modelling methods.

Emphasis will be put in the understanding of transport of energy and water in the lower parts of the atmosphere and on how vegetation and soil properties control the evapotranspiration from the surface. Sensitivity to prevailing climatic parameters is discussed in relation to the water balance components. The effects of potential changes in climate and land-use on surface hydrology are assessed.

Learning Outcome


Students can expect to obtain a general understanding of the components in water balance of the surface and how these are affected by the prevailing climate.


  • Ability to access and correct precipitation, run off and evapotranspiration and the Danish landscape.
  • Understand the role of vegetation and soil properties in the transport of water and the exchange between vegetation, soil and atmosphere.
  • Ability to address these processes with quantitative descriptions and ecosystem models



  • Evaluate the sensitivity of climatic parameters on estimation of evapotranspiration, through the use of Penman –Monteith Ep model
  • Handle large datasets related to water balance and meteorological components
  • Ability to structure a written assignments and present results related to surface hydrology.

Please see Absalon course page

The form of teaching is exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 136
  • Project work
  • 35
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • Total
  • 206
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment
Oral examination, 20 min
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship

A written assignment handed in prior to an oral exam, 20 minuttes.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see learning outcomes.