ESC3545 - Environmental hydrology - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment


Associate Professor David Dunkerley

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Day)


Movement of water in environment, and roles played by water in environmental processes, discussing behaviour of water from condensation in lower atmosphere through to groundwater and river flow. The role of vegetation in intercepting

and redirecting water at surface. The processes of infiltration, percolation, groundwater flow, storm flow and base flow production. Instances of major hydrological change, case studies of large-scale deforestation or desertification, habitat or biodiversity decline, including human use of water and landscape. Observation and measuring techniques employed in hydrologic research are introduced in practical class.


Students who successfully complete this unit will:

  1. Understand the controls on global freshwater availability;
  2. Be aware of risks to the security of global water supplies arising from human activity;
  3. Understand hydrologic processes including precipitation, infiltration, overland flow, and groundwater flow;
  4. Understand some of the hydrologic processes arising in a range of geographical environments, including dry lands, urban areas, and tropical forests;
  5. Develop experimental skills needed for laboratory measurements of hydrologic properties such as porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity;
  6. Understand the place of hydrologic considerations in debates about the management of logging, bushfire, and other forms of land surface change.


Within semester assessment: 70%

Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Two one-hour lectures per week

One two-hour practical class per fortnight

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


A first-year sequence in Geographical Science or a gateway unit in Geography, Climate and Physical Environments or permission of the unit coordinator.


ATS2545, ATS3545