Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    Precipitation, runoff and floods; laboratories as required.

    This paper forms an introduction to the hydrological cycle and the hydrology of rivers. The focus is on the development of practical skills for river discharge measurement.

    This course should appeal to people seeking a career in water resource management.

    About this paper

    Paper title Rivers and Runoff
    Subject Geography
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    GEOG 101
    GEOG 394
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music, Science

    A foundation earth science paper is also acceptable.

    Teaching staff

    Dr Sarah Mager

    Paper Structure

    The lecture programme includes the properties of water, atmospheric processes, precipitation measurement, evaporation and transpiration, river behaviour, discharge measurement, and practical applications of hydrological understanding.
    The laboratory programme will include measurement of flow and discharge in the field using a variety of statistical techniques in hydrology.

    Course assessment favours collaborative learning through hands-on activities in the laboratory; and is supplemented by take-home quizzes that draw on elements of problem-based learning.

    Teaching Arrangements
    The laboratory programme is the heart of this course. The laboratories are designed to introduce and develop the skills required to undertake discharge gauging of rivers and the processing of discharge data.


    Davie. T., and Quinn, N. 2019.  Fundamentals of Hydrology. 3rd Edition. Routledge.

    Recommended Reading:

    Dingman, S.L. 2009.  Fluvial Hydraulics. 1st Edition, Oxford University Press.

    Herschy, R.W. 2009.  Streamflow Measurement. 3rd Edition, Taylor & Francis.

    Knighton, D. 1998.  Fluvial forms and Processes: a new perspective. 2nd Edition. Hodder.

    Wohl, E. 2019. Rivers in the landscape. 2nd Edition. Wiley.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    On completion of the paper students should be able to:

    • Acquire an understanding of the hydrological cycle
    • Understand the physics behind different field techniques
    • Learn how to measure streamflow and decide which method is suitable for different conditions
    • Apply theoretical understanding to real scenarios
    • Gain practical experience sampling stream flow
    • Gain analytical experience handling hydrological data.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
    Back to top