University of Florida

ABE 6254
Simulation of Agricultural Watershed Systems

Semester Taught - Fall (every odd year )

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

Characterization and simulation of agricultural watershed systems including land and channel phase hydrologic processes and pollutant transport processes. Investigation of the structure and capabilities of current agricultural watershed computer models.


Working knowledge of hydrology and high-level programming language (Fortran, VBasic, C/C++, java, or environments like Matlab, Mathematica, COMSOL, etc.).

Course Objectives

Significant time will be given to two primary sections: (1) the development and testing of hydrological algorithms and (2) the investigation of the structure and capabilities of current agricultural watershed computer models. The student will have an opportunity for "hands-on" development of computer programs as well as the use of some currently available watershed models and will be expected to use computers extensively.


Dr. Rafael Muñoz-Carpena
Office Location: 287 Frazier Rogers Hall
Phone: (352) 392-1864 x287

Dr. Greg Kiker
Office Location: 291 Frazier Rogers Hall
Telephone: (352) 392-1864 x291

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required - Textbooks

Haan, C. T., H. P. Johnson, and D. L. Brakensiek, ed. 1982.  Hydrologic Modeling of Small Watersheds, American Society of Agricultural Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan. 
Haan, C. T., B. J. Barfield, and J. C. Hayes, 1994.  Design Hydrology and Sedimentology for Small Catchments, Academic Press. San Diego. ISBN: 0-12-312340-2.

Course Outline

  1. Algorithms and Components for Simulating Hydrological Processes
    • Precipitation, Evapotranspiration, Infiltration, Surface Runoff, Subsurface Flow, Erosion Processes, Nutrient/Chemical Movement
  2. Hydrologic Modeling of Small Watersheds
    • Introduction
    • Model Classification
    • Model Overviews (GWLF, ACRU 2000, SWAT 2009, other)
    • Model Calibration and Testing
    • Model Application Examples

General Instructions
The course will consist of three lectures per week, homework assignments and a term project (including a written critique of a selected watershed model). A combined lecture-discussion method of presentation will be used with extensive input expected from the students. Class attendance is highly encouraged since it is difficult, if not impossible, to make up a lost class discussion that, in many cases, will be composed of material drawn from numerous sources in the research literature. Homework assignments will allow students to develop and test individual algorithms used in hydrological/water quality modeling with example datasets. Students may use any computer language or platform that is familiar to them (MATLAB, MATHEMATICA, FORTRAN Java, VisualBasic, C, C++ , etc..) The term project will focus on a detailed study of an off-the-shelf watershed computer model applied to a specified watershed. The project will include a written report on the model and documentation of the actual application of the model by the student.


Grading Scale
A 90-100%
B+ 85-89
B 80-84
C+ 75-79
C 70-74
D+ 65-69
D 60-64
E <60
Grading Method Percentage
Homework assignments 60%
Evaluation and testing of hydrological application of an off-the-shelf watershed model (Written Report) 20%
Evaluation and testing of water quality application of an off-the-shelf watershed model (Written Report) 20%


Academic Honesty

All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a UF student and to be honest in all work submitted and exams taken in this course and all others.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide the student with documentation that he/she must provide to the course instructor when requesting accommodation.

Use of Library, Personal References, PC Programs and Electronic Databases

These items are university property and should be utilized with other users in mind. Never remove, mark, modify nor deface resources that do not belong to you. If you're in the habit of underlining text, do it only on your personal copy. It is inconsiderate, costly to others, and dishonest to use common references otherwise.

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

UF Counseling Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
  2. Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
  3. Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery and Education (CARE), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual assault counseling;
  4. Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.