Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


The aim of this unit is to gain a quantitative knowledge of hydrologic processes across a range of space and time scales. Topics covered include the physical laws governing the catchment water balance at large scale, catchment energy balance and conversion to mass balance, calculation of evapotranspiration and estimation from satellite data; an introduction to runoff processes—the flood hydrograph and flood frequency analysis, variable source area runoff concepts and calculation; unsaturated zone hydrology—Richards equation, unsaturated flow and transport parameter identification, scale issues and preferential flow; groundwater flow—general principles and estimation of recharge and discharge, groundwater-surface water interactions, identification and quantification of fluxes in groundwater-dependent ecosystems; and an introduction to ecohydrology and quantification of vegetative feedbacks in hydrologic processes.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Environmental Engineering major sequence
  • Level 3 option in the Civil Engineering major sequence

Students are able to (1) quantify water in different phases and environmental states; (2) apply first principles to derive and solve governing equations for water storage and flow ; (3) synthesize governing equations, environmental constraints and operational requirements to solve engineering design problems ; and (4) communicate technical findings and recommendations in an engaging and professional way.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) design reports; (2) mid-semester test; and (3) a final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Sally Thompson
Unit rules
GENG1014 Earth Systems Engineering (ID 8006)
and Enrolment in
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) or an associated Combined Degree
ENVE4402 Hydrology (ID 2572)

Ladson, A. Hydrology: an Australian Introduction: Oxford University Press 2008

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.