Institution: University of Padova and IUSS

Major: HYRIS

Term: 1st Semester

Instructor: Nicola Surian (University of Padova) / Margheritita Righini (IUSS)


CFU: 6


Duration: available here

Schedule: available here

Office hours: on appointment


The aim of this course is to introduce students to key concepts of fluvial geomorphology and to tools for flood hazard assessment and mitigation. The course gives a geomorphic perspective about floods and related hazards.



The course is made up of two parts.

The first part deals with key concepts in fluvial geomorphology:

The fluvial system; connectivity concept; time and spatial scales.

Fluvial processes: erosion (bed and bank); sediment transport and deposition; formative discharge.

Channel morphology and processes: mountain torrents and alluvial rivers.

Floodplain, alluvial plain, terrace, fan.

Channel changes and evolutionary trajectory.


The second part deals with tools for hazard assessment and mitigation:

Spatial Units.

IDRAIM framework.

Morphological Dynamics Index (MDI).

Event Dynamics Classification (EDC).

River Morphodynamic Corridors.

Case studies.

Laboratory: analysis of channel morphology, fluvial processes and assessment of flood hazard using GIS and remote sensing data.



Effective learning benefits from basic knowledge of geomorphology and GIS.



Kondolf G.M. and Piegay H., 2016. Tools in Fluvial Geomorphology. Wiley-Blackwell, 560 pp.

Rinaldi M., Surian N., Comiti F., and Bussettini M., 2015. A methodological framework for hydromorphological assessment, analysis and monitoring (IDRAIM) aimed at promoting integrated river management. Geomorphology, 251, 122-136. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2015.05.010.



Assignments and laboratory exercises will be handed over and graded during the course. The final examination will be oral and it will include discussion about the reports (i.e. the laboratory exercises) as well as the different topics of the lectures.