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GEOG461 Mountain Hydrology

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a selection of on-campus papers will be made available via distance and online learning for eligible students.
Find out which papers are available and how to apply on our COVID-19 website

A survey of mountain and cold climate hydrology, with an emphasis on catchment scale processes, datalogger programming, instrumentation and analytical techniques.

Hydrological models are the cornerstone of understanding hydrological exchanges and the outcomes of these models are critical to managing water resources. Models offer the advantage of determining exchanges or processes not readily observable or quantifiable in the field, as well as projecting into the future. Empirical studies, on the other hand, are equally as valuable as these establish baseline measurements and quantify parameters that are needed to feed into numerical models and can be used to validate model ouputs. GEOG461 is structured around two projects that employ these methodologies to different conceptual problems in hydrology, as well as an awareness of central themes to contemporary hydrological research.

Paper title Mountain Hydrology
Paper code GEOG461
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,348.60
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,967.53

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This paper is available to students at or above 400 (i.e. graduate) level

Please contact Dr Sarah Mager or Dr Daniel Kingston for further information on the recommended background for this paper

Teaching staff

Course Instructors: Dr Sarah Mager and Dr Daniel Kingston

Paper Structure

GEOG461 is divided into two modules which are assessed by two reports, two presentations and an examination. The paper will be deliered via a series of 2-hour workshops, self-directed reading and self-directed exercises. Each project is designed as a semi-guided inquiry-based learning exercise with a strong emphasis on self-directed and collaborative learning. During this course you will be required to read widely and critically reflect on your reading.

This paper is 100% internally assessed.

Teaching Arrangements

1 x 2 hour workshop per week.

One field trip

No textbook is required, but wide reading of resources is expected and guided by a reading list.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course student should be able:

  • to interrogate climatological influences on catchment hydrology
  • to explore the role of climate change on stream flow
  • to characterise the sensitivity of models to parameterisation
  • to undertake statistical analysis of hydrological data
  • to explore the utility of geochemical techniques for dtermining hydrological pathways
  • develop critical reading skills, synthesizing literature and research skills

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Wednesday 11:00-12:50 9-13, 15-18, 20-22