Politecnico di Torino
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Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
01RVNMX
Hydrology
Master of science-level of the Bologna process in Civil Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Tamea Stefania   A2 ICAR/02 60 0 20 20 4
SSD CFU Activities Area context
ICAR/02 8 B - Caratterizzanti Ingegneria civile
Subject fundamentals
The course of Hydrology gives all civil engineers a basic knowledge about the physical processes governing the water cycle and the quantitative techniques to model and estimate the relevant variables, such as precipitation and river discharge. Mathematical and statistical tools that are suitable to face common tasks in hydrology will be presented and their practical use illustrated with examples. Traditional hydrologic problems, such as quantifying flow design values for civil infrastructures, assessing the return time of extreme events, or evaluating the water resources for hydropower or irrigation purposes, will be tackled from both a theoretical and a practical point of view. Different processes of the water cycle, from precipitation formation to soil water infiltration and vegetation evapotranspiration, will be studied to give an appropriate physical background to the theories and techniques that are used in practice. Advanced and innovative aspects of hydrology will be introduced where possible, for an up-to-date formation of future engineers.
Expected learning outcomes
After this course, students will be expected to have gained knowledge of the physical processes governing rainfall, the principles of rainfall-runoff transformation, the elements of soil water balance at different temporal and spatial scales. Students will come to know a set of modeling techniques, with the corresponding hypotheses, merits and limitations, in order to be able to analyze different real contexts and identify the best operational solutions. Students will acquire the principles of data management and analysis as well as information on the measurement of precipitation and discharge and on data availability.
Expected acquired skills include: the use of probabilistic methods for the definition of rainfall and riverflow design values and for the verification of past extreme events; the layout of hydrologic water balances for the estimation of peak floods or available water resources; modeling of soil-water interactions at different temporal and spatial scales.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Students must have taken a course of hydraulics and know the basic principles of hydrostatics, flow dynamics, pressure and force distribution. Knowledge of the fundamentals of probability and statistics is also necessary. In addition, students should master a worksheet software (e.g., MS Office) or a computational software (e.g., Matlab) for the development of assignments and exercises. The course attendance requires fluent spoken and written English, in that all lectures, exercises and exams will be in English and the communication among students and with the lecturers is fundamental.
Contents
(i) Statistical hydrology (20 h)
Definition of variables and basic statistical concepts, data analysis, statistical inference;
Probabilistic models, methods for parameter estimation;
Introduction to statistical tests, goodness-of-fit tests, definition of design values;
(ii) Precipitations (10 h)
Physical principles, measurement and instruments, assessment of areal rainfall and spatial interpolation;
Statistical models for precipitation, IDF curves.
(iii) Water and soil (10 h)
Principles of soil-water interactions, hydraulic properties of soils, retention curves;
Water in porous media, Richardís equation, infiltration models;
Effective rainfall, basin-scale water balance models, SCS-Curve Number model.
(iv) Rainfall-runoff transformation (10 h)
Morphology of river basins, relevant characteristics, hypsographic curve;
Rainfall-runoff models, design hyetographs and flood hydrograph, kinematic model, IUH;
(v) Water resources (10 h)
Energy balance of soil surface, potential evapotranspiration, evaporation from free surface;
Water resources in agriculture, actual evapotranspiration, vegetation and water stress, irrigation;
Water resources for hydropower, flow duration curves, productivity of power plants, environmental flows.
Delivery modes
The course is organized in lectures and exercise-classes. Lectures are devoted to the presentation of the course topics, in their theoretical aspects and applicative examples, and they will be held mainly by the lecturer illustrating the concepts at the blackboard. Exercise-classes will be held at the informatics LAIB where students will form small workgroups of 2-3 students to develop assignments and numerical exercises at the computer, with the assistance of the instructor.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
All material that is necessary for the course will be presented in class and/or provided on the course web page. Additional readings can be found in international reference textbooks.
A useful online reference is: echo2.epfl.ch/VICAIRE/
Other material (mostly in Italian) can be found at: www.idrologia.polito.it/didattica
Assessment and grading criteria
Students will undergo a written exam (duration: 2 hours) including 2-3 exercises, one open question and a few multiple-choice questions. The exercises will be solved without using laptop computers and the questions will be on topics introduced during the classes. The exam evaluation will take into account the resolution methods, the correctness of the numerical solutions, the knowledge demonstrated and the clarity of presentation.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18
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