Module Catalogues, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University   
Module Code: ENV309
Module Title: Fluvial Systems: from headwaters to the coast
Module Level: Level 3
Module Credits: 5.00
Academic Year: 2020/21
Semester: SEM1
Originating Department: Health and Environmental Science
Pre-requisites: N/A
Fluvial systems are among the most dynamic systems on the planet. Understanding the structure, functions and processes of fluvial systems, and developing effective plans for their management, are crucial to our society. This module will provide a critical insight into the major components of fluvial systems, paying particular attention to geomorphic, hydrologic, and ecosystem processes, and human influences and management. The module will link abiotic and ecological processes in fluvial systems through lectures, discussions, practicals and fieldtrips. It will provide students with the fundamental knowledge and experience to help them understand (1) how fluvial systems operate, (2) how fluvial systems are impacted by anthropogenic influences, and (3) how fluvial system health can be restored and managed. This module aims to deliver an excellent background to fluvial systems and their management.
Learning outcomes 
A. Have a critical understanding of how water flows and is stored in river catchment areas, how to deal with the measurement of particular hydrological processes, and understand the linkages between these processes.

B. Gain an understanding of relationships between (1) the structure of fluvial systems and the main forces and physical conditions that control the movement of water and sediment transport, (2) the longitudinal profile and changes in geomorphic, hydrologic and ecosystem processes, (3) an appreciation of research approaches used in fluvial systems

C. Improve data analysis, interpretation and presentation skills through analysing environmental and experimental data and writing scientific reports

D. Have an understanding of the impacts of human disturbances on the environmental state of fluvial systems from headwaters to the coast

E. Gain skills in providing reasoned suggestion, judgements, and possible solutions to particular river management and restoration problems

Method of teaching and learning 
Lectures and tutorials are integrated, i.e. each lecture contains new theoretical topics, worked examples and opportunities for students to solve problems. Some lectures are used as pure tutorials. Coursework, which enable students to use the acquired knowledge in an integrated manner, are given in essential parts of the syllabus. Practical laboratory experiments and field-trip surveys are carried out by the students.

*Should the University decide to cancel or postpone the field trip due to unforeseen environmental and/or political circumstances, the Department will either plan an appropriate substitute activity to meet the intended learning outcomes of the trip or make necessary arrangements to organise the trip at a later time, as appropriate.

Introduction of fluvial systems

Geomorphology: Landscapes and riverscapes

Geomorphic patterns from headwaters to the coast:

1. Catchment analysis

2. Drainage basin networks

Fluvial Hydrology:

1. Discharge, flow analysis, light and oxygen

2. Hydrologic connectivity and hyporheic zones

3. Soil erosion and sediment transport

Ecosystem processes:

1. Fluvial ecosystem functioning from headwaters to the coast, biodiversity and ecosystem services

2. Structure patterns and functions of riparia

3. Assessment for river ecosystem integrity

Fluvial management:

1. Human impacts of fluvial systems in China

2. River restoration and ecosystem recovery

3. River sustainable management


Hydrological and ecological processes

Ecosystem functioning in fluvial systems

Field trips:

1. One half-day short trip: River management and restoration

2. Two-day large river field trip: Large river system and human impacts

Delivery Hours  
Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab/Prcaticals Fieldwork / Placement Other(Private study) Total
Hours/Semester 26   6    12  20  86  150 


Sequence Method % of Final Mark
1 Final 50.00
2 Practical Report 20.00
3 Field Trip Report 30.00

Module Catalogue generated from SITS CUT-OFF: 6/4/2020 6:02:30 AM