cod. 1011517

Academic year 2023/24
2° year of course - Second semester
- Francesca AURELI
Academic discipline
Costruzioni idrauliche e marittime e idrologia (ICAR/02)
"altre conoscenze utili per l'inserimento nel mondo del lavoro"
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

Knowledge and ability to understand:
At the end of the course, the student will have completed the preparation concerning the discipline that deals with important aspects of management and processing of geographical and territorial information for the purposes of hydrological and hydraulic modeling in river basins. The student will also have had direct experience of the experimental identification of the relationships between quantities of primary importance with reference to the motion of fluids in porous media, in natural and artificial watercourses and in some devices for the release and use of water currents.

The student will be able to analyze a digital elevation model of the terrain to derive watersheds and river networks, to prepare a map of a hydrological region including measurement sites and associate measured data to places of interest, to use web tools to access geospatial water resources information, to create a basemap of a study region including watersheds, streams, and aquifers. The student will also be able to determine important physical quantities and properties of the currents and links of the same with some salient characteristics of the systems in which the movement takes place, having experienced the limitations and concrete problems connected to the identification and use of the same due to the location in the field of the experiences.

Making judgments:
The knowledge acquired will allow the student to design and conduct appropriate experiments with greater competence and critical spirit, interpreting the relevant data and drawing conclusions.

Communication skills:
The student will be encouraged to present the results of data processing, numerical and physical modeling in a clear and effective way through the use of graphic tables, tables and texts.


It is useful to have knowledge of the geographic information system QGIS for analyzing the spatial information contained in terrain models. It is useful to have knowledge of the Office package. Common individual productivity tools will mainly be used such as the Excel spreadsheet for numerical processing and the Word word processing program for drafting short reports to be inserted in the laboratory notebook.

Course unit content

Activities in the numerical laboratory
Basics of hydrology. Use of GIS for the extraction of useful information for hydrological purposes and hydraulic defense. Extraction from digital terrain models (DEM) of watershed lines delimiting river basins, sub-basins, hydrographic network, and preparatory processing for the use of the basins thus identified through distributed numerical models. Extraction from databases of geological, pedological, morphological, and land use information for evaluations of surface runoff and infiltration. Identification and extraction from DEM of available volumes for the purpose of realizing flood detention reservoirs. Extraction of river cross sections from DEM for the purposes of 1D hydraulic modeling.

Activities in the Laboratory of Hydraulics and Hydraulic Constructions
Measurement of the permeability of granular media with a constant load permeameter, Measurement of the permeability of granular media with a variable load permeameter (AIPO laboratory in Boretto). Measurement of the retention curve of artificial granular media. Experiences of transport of pollutants in sandboxes. Realization of Piano Key Weirs scale models and evaluation of their efficiency as a function of type and characteristics through channel experimentation. Creation of small hydrokinetic rotors and evaluation of their efficiency as a function of type and characteristics through channel experimentation in single or array configurations.

Laboratory activity in the countryside
Measurements aimed at identifying the flow as the water depth varies in cross sections of small natural watercourses (in collaboration with ARPAE) and in irrigation canals (in collaboration with the Consorzio di Bonifica Parmense) using acoustic Doppler current profilers. Monitoring of the aquifer in the municipality of Parma.

Full programme

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Educational materials provided by the teacher: lecture slides, notes, texts, and data for the development of the exercises (available on the university web learning platform:

Teaching methods

The course is divided into two parts. A first part will be dedicated to lectures, making use of the projection of presentations and exercises in the informatics lab on a pc. The second part of the course includes a series of laboratory and field experiences preceded by brief introductions relating to the theoretical and objective aspects of the activities and to the methods of collecting observations of interest, supported by appropriate documentation.
The teacher will provide support to the students in the preparation of the laboratory notebook through a series of ongoing revisions at times to be agreed.

Assessment methods and criteria

The student will have to produce a laboratory notebook showing the main results of the experiences conducted through the use of graphic tables, tables and texts. Once the paper has been validated by the teacher, the student will be able to take an oral interview on the topics covered. The verification of learning will consist in the evaluation of the laboratory notebook and the interview as set out below: preparation of the laboratory notebook 50% (considering the correct processing of the data and the clarity in the presentation of the results), oral interview 50% (considering the answers to the theoretical questions, the exposure properties, possible applications of the procedures to different practical problems).
The evaluation will be expressed in thirtieths.

Other information

The laboratory is included in the "Other activities" of the degree course as an alternative to the internship. It is also possible to include it among elective courses if the student has activated an internship in a company. Attendance at the laboratory is highly recommended.
In the case of experiences to be carried out in the countryside or in the AIPo Laboratory of Boretto, transport will be ensured at no cost to the student.