Catchment Processes and Environmental Change

This module develops approaches to help understand the fundamental controls on catchment processes, channel change and ecological systems and how these can be both influenced by and managed appropriately through human actions. A greater understanding of natural and human-induced environment and catchment changes is crucial in order for informed management practices to be applied. In this respect, the module adopts a broad consideration of temporal and spatial scales, covering palaeo approaches of landscape change over the last 20 thousand years through to natural process interactions between instantaneous turbulent flow and sediment grains within rivers.

The module will explain the need for restoration in the context of past and present human impacts on catchment systems and the future need to mitigate impacts of climate change and how this can be informed by studies of past change. Practical restoration techniques and examples of catchment change through time will be illustrated with case studies.

By the end of the module you will be able to:

  • Develop cogent, coherent and sustained arguments about significant issues related to natural and human-induced environment and landscape change for a range of habitats.
  • Understand the purpose and potential of river restoration approaches to restore and/or rehabilitate river habitats.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth familiarity with key concepts, models and datasets appropriate to the quantification and interpretation of river geomorphological and sedimentological dynamics, through a critical engagement with published analyses in the international scientific literature