NPLK14023U Applied Agrohydrology

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Agriculture
MSc Programme in Environmental Science


The objectives of the course are to obtain advanced and applicable knovledge on agrohydrological and soil physical properties and processes at the field scale affecting plant production and the environment. Quantification of properties and modeling of sub-processes being important prerequisites for achieving these goals will be put in focus when possible. 

Topics: Water in soil: hydraulic properties (water retention and hydraulic conductivity, models and model parameterizations). Soil structure: fundamentals and implications (e.g. for water, gas, heat and solute transport); principles of structure management (soil tillage). Evapotranspiration (resistance theory, estimation of reference and actual evapotranspiration, crop water demand, water balances, effects on microclimate). Water flow in soil: fundamentals; crop water uptake, soil evaporation, infiltration, drainage, soil water balance. Design principles for drainage works at field scale and at larger scales; implications of artificial drainage (crop production, environment). Transport of contaminants in soil, leaching: fundamentals and selected cases representing inert, non-adsorbing, sorbing and degradable substances. Non-equilibrium transport, effects of preferential water flow. Field scale variability: spatial variability and how to deal with it.

Course report: The students have to prepare an individual course report (typically 10-15 pages) which has to be submitted to the course responsible before the examination.  The student will through an analysis of self-selected or given problems within the framework of the course, document (examplify) and combine the application of central methods and theory in the report.

Learning Outcome

Knowledge, skills and competences obtained during the course:

Knowledge: Students understand (can explain) all fundamental laws, principles, model concepts and methods presented during the course.

Skills: Students can apply and combine the presented methods and principles to characterize the soil-plant-atmosphere system as a basis for evaluation of effects on crops and the environment.

Competences: Students can identify and analyze the most important agrohydrolocical and soil physical factors in relation to their primary focus, interpret the results of their analysis and draw the relevant conclusions.

The study materials include excerpts from specialized advanced textbooks, specialized review papers, simple computer models, and original research papers. These will be available on Absalon.

Knowledge and skills within the field of soil science equivalent to what can be obtained from the courses "Jord, Vand og Planter" and "Eksperimentelle Jordbundsundersøgelser"

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.
Class teaching with active participation of students by means of theoretical exercises, discussions, student presentations, etc.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 30
  • Class Instruction
  • 14
  • Preparation
  • 130
  • Theory exercises
  • 32
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Students will present their group assignments, and oral feedback will be given by other students and by teachers.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination, 30 min
Written assignment
Type of assessment details
Oral examination, 30 minutes.
The student randomly draws a question related to one of the course's main topics. About 30 min is given for preparation for the exam. Initially, the student explains methods, theory, and analyses included in the course report. The presentation leads to questions and discussions which may be related to different parts of the syllabus. Finally, the student is examined in the randomly drawn question.
The grade will be based on following assessment, 70 % for the course report including presentation and discussion and 30 % for the drawn question.
Exam registration requirements

Submission of the course report by Thursday in the week before the exam

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
One internal examiner

As the ordinary exam.

The course report needs to be handed in two weeks before the re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

Criteria defining the perfect exam performance are specifyed under "Learning Outcome".