HydroViz virtual hydrologic observatory
HydroViz is an educational "virtual" hydrologic observatory developed for a "real" watershed. It is based on integration of field data, remote sensing observations and computer simulations of hydrologic variables and processes. HydroViz is fully web-based, web-accessible with Google Earth embedded into it.
Context for Use
While HydroViz is primarily designed to be used in junior/senior level courses, it can also be used in freshmen introductory-level courses to expose new civil engineering and earth-science students to basic watershed concepts, hydrologic variables, rainfall-runoff processes, spatial geographic data, and field measurements and sensors. The instructor can select a limited set of modules to use within the freshmen-level classes. The usage of hands-on software such as HydroViz at early stages within the curriculum can be rather inspiring for young students are motivated by real-world and interactive applications.
Description and Teaching Materials
The website includes 13 modules on:
- Getting Acquainted with the Watershed
- Exploring Land-Use Land-Cover (LULC) Coverage Map
- Exploring Soil Coverage
- Exploring Land Elevation
- Exploring Field Equipment
- Working with a Real Rainfall Storm
- Analysis of Rainfall Measurements during Storm Mathew
- Measuring Rainfall Using Remote Sensing Techniques
- Analysis of Runoff/Stream flow Observations due to Storm Mathew
- Curve Number Analysis
- TR55 Graphical Method
- Hydrologic Model Setup
- Hydrologic Model Simulations
Teaching Notes and Tips
- HydroViz is fully web-based, web-accessible with Google Earth embedded into it. It can run on a typical desktop computer with internet access and doesn't require any specific software packages.
- HydroViz is best introduced in a piece-wise mode where every module is introduced separately.
- Introduction of HydroViz in freshmen classes can be rather challenging. To facilitate the usage of HydroViz in such classes, advanced questions and topics within the HydroViz educational modules have been tagged with an optional flag, but are still made accessible for all students who have scientific curiosity to experiment with such advanced topics.
- Technical questions are embedded within each module of HydroViz. Students are asked to record their activities and answers and type them in file to be submitted to the instructor. A template file with the embedded questions is provided for each module to provide a standard mechanism for collecting their answers and feedback. The instructor can grade these submissions and assess students' learning
- An online survey to be filled and submitted by the students after they finish their activities. The instructor can use this self-assessment tool to assist in judge evaluation of achieved student learning
References and Resources
- USGS Land-Use and Land-Cover
- Soil types from USDA
- USGS Land elevation datasets
- NWS Hurricane Center
- NASA Earth Observatory (more info)
- NWS Hydro-meteorological Prediction Center