Spring 2022: New Cabell Hall 268, 2:00-6:00 p.m. Tuesday

Instructor:     Todd M. Scanlon                                   TA:     Zach Perkins

                        376A Clark Hall                                         194 Clark Hall

                        Tel.: 434-924-3382 (office)                          Tel.: 804-895-8340 (cell)

                        E-mail: tms2v@virginia.edu                            E-mail: zap2cx@virginia.edu

Office Hours: Mondays, 9:00-10:00 a.m.                       Office Hours: Mondays, 10:00-11:00 a.m.   

In person or via Zoom (link can be found under     Via Zoom (link can be found under              

“Announcements” on class Collab site)                  “Announcements” on class Collab site)

Course Description

            This course is intended to give students hands-on experience with field methods and data analysis used in hydrology. The three main goals for this class are: (1) to familiarize students with the theory and range of instrumentation that is available for hydrological measurements, (2) to engage students in experimental design and data collection, and (3) to provide students with analytical capabilities for the interpretation of data. The field component to this class will be centered on instrumenting an experimental catchment where different aspects of the hydrological cycle (e.g. precipitation, stream flow, soil moisture, evapotranspiration, groundwater flow) will be monitored. Analysis of the data will be conducted using Matlab. Tutorials will cover the basic programming in this language as well as some of Matlab’s expanded analytical features.

            Routine assignments will involve analyzing the data collected from the field site. Instrumentation and data collection will be a group effort, with students being responsible for collecting data from the field site on a rotating basis and data being made available on a shared web site. Independent work will consist of a short project each student must complete by the end of the semester. Ideas for final projects will be offered throughout the semester on assignments and during lectures.

Textbooks (on reserve in the Brown Science and Engineering Library)

Dingman, S. L., Physical Hydrology, Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 2002.

Hornberger, G.M., J. P. Raffensperger, P. L. Wiberg, and K. N. Eshleman, Elements of Physical Hydrology, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 314 pp., 1998.

Field Site

            The majority of the field work for this class will take place at Mount Fair Farm (https://mountfairfarm.com) in Albemarle County, an approximately 25-30 min. drive from the UVa grounds. Within the property are a number of small stream which ultimately drain into the Doyles River (part of the larger James River drainage basin). This land is private property, and therefore we have to be respectful when using this property for our class activities. If you plan to visit the site outside of regularly scheduled class times, as you may have to do when working on your project, please e-mail our site contact (Farm manager Mike Shifflett; mike@mountfairfarm.com) in advance to let him know of your plans.

Course Requirements

            The class meets weekly on Tuesdays from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. The typical format will consist of a lecture, followed by an in-class exercise or a trip to the field site. Please note that although the class is scheduled to end at 6:00, there might be some rare circumstances in which more time may be needed. In addition to being involved with the work during the regularly scheduled class time, students may, toward the end of the semester, need to visit the site for additional data collection if this is necessary for their final projects.

Assigned problem sets are expected to be completed by the students and turned in by the beginning of the next class. Data collection will be a collaborative effort, but all programming and interpretation of the results must be done on an independent basis.

A final exam, covering the lecture material, will be held during the last regular class of the semester, on Tuesday, May 3. Final projects will be presented to the class during the scheduled final exam time, Thursday, May 12 from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. A written paper describing the final project of approximately 8 pages (1½-spaced text) must be turned in at the beginning of the presentations.


            Homework Assignments   45%

            Participation                            15%

            Final exam                              15%

            Final Project (written)             15%

            Final Project (presentation)  10%

Course Outline

1Jan. 25Course overview and an introduction to Matlab
2Feb. 1Matlab applications for statistical analysis and modeling in hydrology
3Feb. 8Stream gaging and precipitation measurements
4Feb. 15Catchment delineation: GPS and GIS
5Feb. 22Stilling well and weir design for continuous discharge measurements
6Mar. 1Evapotranspiration measurements and theory
8Mar. 15Eddy covariance measurements of water and carbon dioxide
9Mar. 22Lysimeter installation and soil texture analysis
10Mar. 29Water quality monitoring and stream chemistry
11Apr. 5Soil moisture measurements
12Apr. 12Well installation and monitoring
13Apr. 19Well tests for saturated hydraulic conductivity
14Apr. 26In-situ stream sensors
15May 3Final exam / Data collection for projects
 May 12 (Thurs.)Final presentations (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)