Critical Zone Hydrology

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Code Completion Credits Range Language
D41HKZ ZK 2P Czech
Garant předmětu:
Tomáš Vogel
Tomáš Vogel
Tomáš Vogel
Department of Hydraulics and Hydrology

Critical Zone is defined as a thin layer of the Earth’s surface and near-surface terrestrial environment from the top of the vegetation canopy, or atmosphere–vegetation interface, to the bottom of the weathering zone, or freshwater–bedrock interface (US National Research Council, 2001). A variety of physical, chemical and biological interactions between the biotic and abiotic constituents of the critical zone occurs over a range of spatial and temporal scales. These interactions determine near surface fluxes of mass, energy and momentum and control transport and cycling of water, carbon and other chemicals. Understanding critical zone processes is an important prerequisite for the prediction of the consequences of surface pollution, climate change impacts and land use adaptation effects. The course aims at making students understand basic principles facilitating the quantitative description of the state and flow of water and transport of dissolved chemicals and energy in the critical zone, with emphasis on the processes crucial for the soil–plant–atmosphere system. The course covers the topics of parameterization of soil and plant hydraulic properties; formulation of governing equations of water flow, solute transport and heat transfer; initial and boundary conditions of the governing equations and basic measurement techniques. Specific attention will be paid to the individual hydraulic and transport processes, such as: infiltration, evaporation, redistribution, capillary rise, plant root water uptake, sap flow and plant transpiration, surface and subsurface stormflow, preferential flow and transport of contaminants in the soil profile.



Syllabus of lectures:

Hydraulic characteristics of porous media

Water flow governing equations

Solute transport

Heat transfer

Initial and boundary conditions

Infiltration, evaporation, redistribution, capillary rise

Water uptake by plant roots, transpiration of vegetation cover

Subsurface runoff

Preferential flow

Contaminant transport

Winter regime

Syllabus of tutorials:


Study Objective:

Understanding the processes taking place in the critical zone. Acquiring the knowledge necessary to predict the effects of surface pollution, climate change impacts and land use change.

Study materials:

Hillel D.: Environmental Soil Physics, Academic Press, 1998.

Pinder G., Celia M.: Subsurface Hydrology, John Wiley & Sons, 2006.

Bear J.: Modeling Groundwater Flow and Pollution, Kluwer, 1987.

Further information:
Time-table for winter semester 2023/2024:
Time-table is not available yet
Time-table for summer semester 2023/2024:
Time-table is not available yet
The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2024-07-20
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