Fall 2017 - GEOG 311 D100

Hydrology (4)

Class Number: 4153

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SECB 1010, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 10, 2017
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    AQ 3159, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Jason Leach
    Office: RCB 7228
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 213 or 214; GEOG 251 or one of STAT 101, 201, 203 (formerly 103), or 270.



Introduction to the hydrologic cycle, with an emphasis on the hydrology of British Columbia; description and analysis of the processes of water movement and storage measurements and analysis of hydrologic data. Quantitative.


This course provides an introduction to hydrology theory and techniques. Students will learn concepts and physical principles of water flow in the environment, as well as standard techniques that are used to solve hydrologic problems. The course is structured around the hydrologic cycle and will cover interrelated topics such as: precipitation, interception, evapotranspiration, snow and glacier hydrology, soil water, groundwater, runoff generation and stream flow. Theoretical understanding will be coupled with practical exercises which will introduce students to standard methods employed in hydrology and water resources management such as rainfall intensity-duration-frequency curves, hydrograph separation, and flood frequency analysis. Case studies and examples covered in the course will emphasize the hydrology of British Columbia and Canada.

Lectures will focus on introducing key concepts to provide a foundation for their practical application in the laboratory assignments. The objective of the laboratory assignments are: 1) to introduce general approaches to practical data analysis (e.g., fitting relations to data, error analysis), 2) to provide experience in applying theoretical concepts to the interpretation of hydrology data, and 3) to introduce some of the standard techniques of applied hydrology (e.g., flood frequency analysis).

Note: Labs will begin in the week of September 11, 2017


At the completion of this course students will be able to:

Describe the physical processes responsible for the transfer of water within and between the components of the hydrology cycle
Describe the theory and application of standard hydrologic instrumentation
Employ standard analytical techniques commonly used in applied hydrology
Connect theoretical hydrologic concepts to current water issues in British Columbia


  • Laboratory assignments 20%
  • Literature review assignment 20%
  • Midterm exam 30%
  • Final exam 30%



There is no suitable text book for this course. It is therefore critical that students attend the lectures and laboratory sessions and take notes. Recommended textbooks for those students wishing to gain further insights on hydrology include:

Dingman, S.L. 2015. Physical Hydrology, Third Edition. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey.

Ward, R.D. and Robinson, M. 2000. Principles of Hydrology, Fourth Edition. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html