College of Engineering & Mines

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GEOE 421: Cold Region Hydrologic Modeling (Fall 2022)

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Instructor: Taufique Mahmood
Office: Leonard Hall 324
Class Hours: Tu & Thu 11:00 AM -12:15 PM
Office Hours: M & W 9:00 AM-10:00 AM
Credits: 3

No prerequisite.

Course Objectives

This course aims to describe and explain the governing physical principles, processes and recent advances in cold region hydrology and physically based numerical simulation with special reference to northern prairie region. In addition, the students will learn the incorporation of physically based process into a numerical model using the cold region hydrologic model platform (CRHM). The CRHM allows the compilation of various modules (each module represent a process) to build a model to simulate watershed processes in a specific basin. On completion of this course, students should be able to: a) describe the features of the primary cold region hydrological processes b) build a watershed model using modules on a CRHM platform c) describe the physically based processes and their sensitivity to climate and land use using numerical simulations.

Course Texts

Handout of notes for a revised Handbook on the Principles of Hydrology (DM Gray & JW Pomeroy)


Readings about new discoveries and recent findings on cold region processes will be assigned for each topic and distributed in advance electronically.


  • 60% (Project on developing a watershed model, model testing using observations and model sensitivity to climate and land use parameters).
  • 15% Mid term exam.
  • 15% Final exam
  • 10% Class attendance

Course synopsis

The Cold Region Hydrology Modeling is an intensive course on the physical principles and numerical simulation of hydrologic processes with a particular relevance to northern prairie condition. Factors governing hydrological processes in the prairie landscapes will be discussed including precipitation, interception, snow accumulation, snowmelt, blowing snow transport, evaporation, infiltration, groundwater movement, variable contributing area and streamflow. These processes will be framed within the context of distinctly cold region landscape features such as seasonally frozen ground. State of the art statistical analyses and recent advances in numerical simulations will be presented. Students will be exposed to an overview of each process, with recent scientific findings and new cutting edge theories, tools and techniques. They will complete quantitative and essay assignments to develop skills in problem solving and in synthesizing complex hydrological concepts. The students will also develop a watershed model using CRHM platform for their project work.

Disability access statement

If you have emergency medical information to share with me, need special arrangements in case the building must be evacuated, or you need disability accommodations in the course, please make an appointment with the instructor. If you plan to request disability accommodations, you are expected to register with Disability Services for Students, 190 McCannel Hall, 777-3425.

Classroom Rules

  • Beverages ARE permitted in the classroom but please limit food and beverages during laboratory time.
  • Computers are not permitted during the lecture time
  • All cell phones, alarms, and telephonic devices must be turned off or in the silent mode during lecture and laboratory time.