Key Topics
Marmot Creek Research Basin
Data-Stream from Smith Creek & Marmot Creek Research Basins

University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology /
CWRA Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences
Kananaskis Short Course on Principles of Hydrology

Available for credit from the University of Saskatchewan as Geography 827

March 1-12, 2014 - Kananaskis Valley, Alberta

Course Objectives
This course aims to:

  • Describe and explain the physical principles and processes that govern hydrology, with special reference to Canadian conditions.
  • Describe and explain mass and energy balance calculations and their application in hydrology.

On completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the features of the primary Canadian hydrological processes
  • Assess the effects of variable boundary conditions on hydrology
  • Apply coupled energy and mass balance equations to calculate hydrological fluxes including runoff and streamflow.

Course synopsis
The University of Saskatchewan Centre for Hydrology with the assistance of the Canadian Society for Hydrological Sciences is offering an intensive course on the physical principles of hydrology with particular relevance to Canadian conditions. Factors governing hydrological processes in Canadian landscapes will be discussed including precipitation, interception, energy balance, snow accumulation, snowmelt, glaciers, evaporation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, groundwater movement and streamflow routing and hydraulics. These processes will be framed within the context of distinctly Canadian landscape features such as high mountains, glaciers, peatlands, prairies, tundra, boreal forests, frozen rivers and seasonally frozen ground.  Students will be exposed to an overview of each subject, with recent scientific findings and new cutting edge theories, tools and techniques. They will complete numerical and essay assignments to develop skills in problem solving and in synthesizing complex hydrological concepts. Field examinations in nearby environments and research basins will enhance the learning experience. Students will emerge from the course with a deeper understanding of physical hydrological processes and how they interact to produce catchment water budgets and streamflow response.

The course will take place at the University of Calgary’s Biogeoscience Institute’s Barrier Lake Station in the Kananaskis Valley from March 1-12, 2014. The course will focus on classroom instruction, but will take advantage of the proximity to the Marmot Creek Research Basin and the Columbia Icefield to expose students to cold regions hydrological phenomena, state of the art field instrumentation and measurement techniques. Each day will start with lectures on the primary subject, and include time to work on assigned exercises. Certain days will include a field work component to examine the processes and measurement techniques relevant to the lectures.

The course is intended for hydrology and water resources graduate students and early to midlevel career water resource engineers, hydrologists, aquatic ecologists and technologists who are either working directly in hydrology and water resources or are looking to broaden their understanding of hydrological systems and processes. This physical science course is quantitative in nature and so a firm foundation in calculus and physics at the first year university level and some undergraduate hydrology or hydraulics training is strongly recommended.

Instructors and Preliminary Schedule

Date Subject Instructor

March 1st

Fundamentals & Hydrological Cycle

Dr John Pomeroy

March 2nd

Micrometeorology & Precipitation

Dr John Pomeroy

March 3rd

Interception & Evapotranspiration
- Snow Survey Field Trip
- Assignment 1
- Essay Assignment

Dr Richard Petrone
Dr John Pomeroy

March 4th

Snow Accumulation & Redistribution

Dr John Pomeroy

March 5th

Snowmelt and Depletion

Dr John Pomeroy

March 6th

Glaciers & River Ice Formation
- Assignment 2

Michael Demuth PEng

March 7th

Groundwater Hydrology
- Assignment 3

Dr Edwin Cey

March 8th

Infiltration & Soil Water
- Instrumented Site Visit

Dr Charles Maulé
Dr John Pomeroy

March 9th



March 10th

Hillslope and Catchment Hydrology
- Assignment 4
- Stream gauge visit

Dr Sean Carey

Dr Alain Pietroniro

March 11th

River Networks, Hydraulics & and Hydrographs
- Synthesis
- Assignment 5

Dr Kevin Shook
Dr Alain Pietroniro
Dr John Pomeroy

March 12th

Final exam (credit students only)

Contact Hours and Schedule
Lectures will be held in an intensive 10-day period at the Biogeoscience Institute, Barrier Lake Field Station, Kananaskis Valley, Alberta starting March 1, 2014. Dr Pomeroy will be available on site during the whole period and by e-mail afterwards: individual instructors will be available for portions of the course, corresponding to their lecture day and the next day. The final examination (2 hour) will be given on the last day of the course. Exercises and literature review are due 4 weeks after completion of the course.

Marking and Evaluation
Students taking the course for credit will be evaluated with a final exam (20%), a literature review on a hydrological process selected in consultation with Dr Pomeroy (30%), and five quantitative exercises (10% each for 50%).
These will include:

  • Micrometeorology and evapotranspiration
  • Groundwater hydrology;
  • Snow accumulation, glaciers and melt;
  • Soil and hillslope hydrology;
  • River basin hydrology and hydraulics.

Audit students are only required to complete the five quantitative exercises.

All students are required to enroll in Geography 827 at the University of Saskatchewan in either an audit or credit capacity. 

All students attending will receive a certificate recognizing their participation in the course.  Those that satisfactorily complete the appropriate requirements will receive a certificate stating they have completed the course.  All others will receive a certificate stating they attended the course.

Course Texts and Readings
Students are highly encouraged to purchase the following two texts for use at the course. Textbooks can be purchased through

Physical Hydrology, 2nd Edition, S.L. Dingman, 2008:
Waveland Press, Long Grove, IL, (including CD) ISBN 978-1-57766-561-8

The Surface Climates of Canada, W.G. Bailey, T.R. Oke and W.R. Rouse, 1997:
Montreal: McGill-Queen's Univ Press

Handouts based on a revised Handbook on the Principles of Hydrology (Gray and Pomeroy) will be distributed at the course. Readings will be assigned for each topic and distributed via PAWS (the University of Saskatchewan web services for students) or at the course.


There are two parts to the course registration:

1. Please follow this link to register and pay fees associated with facilities, course instruction, and meals and accommodation at the Biogeoscience Institute. These fees are as follows:

Status CWRA Member? Fee
ProfessionalNo, But eligible for Young Professional membership$1900

2. All participants must register with the University of Saskatchewan, class GEOG 827.3 (02) (T2). The CRN is 28197, and the session is 201401.

To see the appropriate registration details, please select your current university, or choose the 'Non-University / Institution Not Listed' option:

Please send completed form(s) and any other required details to:

Department of Geography and Planning
University of Saskatchewan
Room 125 Kirk Hall Building
117 Science Place
Saskatoon SK S7N 5C8

OR by fax to 1-306-966-5680
All forms will be forwarded to the College of Graduate Studies and Research once signed by the Department Head in Geography and Planning.

Because of budgetary commitments, registrants who cancel will only be refunded 50% of their tuition, and only if their cancellation is received in writing by the organizers before February 1, 2014. No refund will be possible after this date.

For further information...
Please contact John Pomeroy (e-mail) or Erika Klyszejko (e-mail).

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