SYLLABUS of Environmental changes: Landscape under constraints

Full description:

Main Objective

The general objective of this course is to improve the learner’s understanding of the relationships between hydrological constraints and human security.

Specific objectives:

At the end of the course, learners will be able to:

  • Indicate the nuance between climate variability and change;

  • Define the hydrology;

  • List the data used in hydrology and their potential applications;

  • List the causes of land degradation and its consequences;

  • Enumerate the causes, types and consequences of erosion;

  • Identify hydrological risks

  • Identify the causes of flooding

  • List in the consequences of floods

  • Appreciate potential adaptation strategies to climate risks.

Background knowledge

  • Descriptive statistics

  • Mathematics end of secondary school level

Teaching methods

the lecturer will introduce some basics concepts and the learners will give presentations base on individual work and group work.


Two test: one during the lecture ( class mark 40%) and the last one some weeks later (60%)


  1. Hydrology, datas

    1. Concepts clarification: Climate system, climate, climate variability, climate change

    2. What is hydrology?

    3. Water cycle (hydrologic cycle)

    4. States and water localisation

    5. Water balance

    6. River basin

    7. Hydrological datas

  2. Measurements and applications

    1. Rainfall measurement

    2. Application case: statistical study of ponctual rainfall

    3. Case study

  3. Rainfall study based on the duration

    1. Instantaneous intensity

    2. Mean intensity

    3. Intensity – Duration – Frequency (IDF) functions

  4. River streamflow measurement

    1. Hydrometry

    2. Calibration curve

    3. Water level measurement

    4. How to measure discharge for small rivers

    5. Formulation of the relationship between Flow and water level

  5. Surface water management: Dam

    1. Definition

    2. Mobilization (fresh water)

    3. Surface water management

    4. Risks for human security

  6. Land degradation

    1. Definition

    2. Causes

    3. Consequenses

  7. Erosion

    1. Definition

    2. Types

    3. Consequenses for hydrology

  8. Hydrological risks: flooding

    1. Definitions

    2. Causes

    3. Consequenses


  • Christophe Ancey (2009). Risques hydrologiques et aménagement du territoire. Notes de cours

  • Laborde, J.P. (1998). Elément d’hydrologie de surface. Notes de cours.

  • Laborde J. P. (2000) Méthodes d’interpolation et géostatistiques pour la cartographie automatique

  • Obled C. (2000) Cours de géostatistique, ENSHMG, Grenoble.

  • Roche M. (1963) Hydrologie de surface, ORSTOMS, Paris

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