This course introduces the fundamental physical principles that are necessary to understand the occurrence, distribution, and circulation of water near Earth’s surface. Students will be introduced to the global hydrological cycle and the influence of climate, geology, and human activity. Students will study the processes of precipitation and evapotranspiration; surface water flow, floods, and storage in natural and artificial reservoirs; groundwater flow; and whole-cycle catchment hydrology. Although less emphasized, water-quality and water resources management issues will be discussed and case studies presented. Throughout the course, a quantitative approach is taken in which mathematical descriptions of hydrological phenomena will frequently be an objective. The course will also provide an introduction to hydrological data acquisition and analysis.
EN.575.601 Fluid Mechanics or an equivalent course in fluid flow or hydraulics.