Soil conservation in mountain watersheds

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The course aims to provide the technical and scientific knowledge needed to tackle the problems of water resources use and of hydraulic protection, with particular reference to forest and mountain environment.
Expected learning outcomes
Addressing and solving problems of hydrostatics and of uniform flow hydrodynamics in open channels and pipes;
design and verification of simple hydraulic infrastructures.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
the course will be provided through:
- synchronous remote lectures via Teams platform
- asynchronous exercises guided by means of video-turorials
- field acivity in presence

course pre-requisites do not change

Written exam in presence and oral exam by remote usingTeams

the course program and references do not change
Course syllabus
1. Water properties and Hydrostatics (0.5 CFU)
(1a) Physical characteristics of the water. 1b) Fundamental quantities of hydraulics and their units of measurement. 1c) Pressure in a still liquid and its diagrams. 1d) General equation of hydrostatics, 1e) Pressure measuring instruments. 1f) Calculation of thrusts on the walls of a tank.
2. General principles of hydrodynamics (1 CFU)
2a) Elements characteristic of the motion of liquids (trajectories, flow pipe, etc.). 2b) Definition and classification of water currents. 2c) Movement Regimes. 2d) Discharge. Equation of continuity. 2e) Bernoulli Theorem. 2f) Extension of Bernoulli Theorem to currents.
3. Real liquids and currents under pressure (1 CFU)
3a) Extension of Bernoulli's theorem to real liquids. 3b) Continuous and localized pressure dissipations. 3c) Characteristic lines. 3d) Motion resistance laws. 3e) Pipeline verification and design problems. 3f) Pipelines with pumps and turbines.
4. Free surface currents (1 CFU)
4a) Uniform motion in canals and watercourses. 4b) Flow rate scale. 4c) Dimensioning and verification criteria. 4d) Calculation of shear stress. 4e) Principles of foronomy. 4f) Critical state of the current. 4g) Notes on permanent motion profiles.
5. Hydrological processes in mountain catchments (1 CFU)
(5a) the catchment area. 5b) the hydrological processes in mountain areas.
(6) Discharge estimation in mountain basins (1 CFU)
6a) Empirical formulas. 6b) LSPP. 6c) Rational formula. 6d) Curve Number Method. 6e) Time-concentration method
7) Hydrogeological disorder in mountain areas. (1 CFU)
7a) Phenomena: surface erosion, mass movements, debris flows. 7b) Elements of earth mechanics. 7c) Assessment of slope stability (indefinite slope model). 7d) Types of torrents. Lane approach. 7e) Solid transport. Theory of Shields
8) General principles of mountain catchements management. (0,5 CFU)
9) Torrent control. (0.5 CFU)
9(a) Works in degrading torrents. Correction slope. 9b) Works in aggrading torrents. Open check dams. 9c)Riverbank protection works.
(10) Slope stabilization. (0,5 CFU)
10a) grass seedling. 10b) Reinforcement works. 10c) Retaining works. 10d) Drainage works
Prerequisites for admission
Fundamental prerequisites for frequency and/or study are knowledge of the main laws of physics, systems of units of measurement, trigonometry, elementary algebra.
Teaching methods
lectures, classroom and computer lab exercises and field trips
Teaching Resources
The main reference for exam preparation is represented by the course website available on the University's online teaching platform Ariel. In it, the course is divided into its components and is available for each one:
- a brief description of the topics,
- copy of slides used in class
- further bibliographical material (articles, notes, etc.).
- films and recordings of the lessons in the classroom (not for all subjects and plese note that the recordings are NOT intended as a substitute for the lessons in the classroom, but only as an aid in the study phase or to make up for any sporadic absences).
There are also available on the course website:
- useful material for the exercises
- examples for the hydraulics part
Further bibliographical references are:
- M. Gallati e S. Sibilla (2009) Fondamenti di idraulica, Carocci editore Roma
- V. Ferro (2006) La sistemazione dei bacini idrografici, McGraw-Hill
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam consists of:
- a written test on the part related to hydraulics, in which the student must answer design questions related to the design or verification of hydraulic systems, watercourses, tanks, etc., simplified but representative of real situations.
The test normally lasts 2 hours and also includes the resolution of two simple exercises for the verification of preliminary knowledge (1st and 2nd degree equations, decomposition of vectors, conversion of units of measurement, etc.).
For the preparation for the written test, it is particularly useful to refer to the examination texts available on the course website in the Ariel platform.
- an oral test with the program part relating to hydrology and watershed management.
To access to the oral test it is necessary to have obtained a score of at least 16/30 in the written test (in this case the knowledge of the minimum requirements regarding hydraulics will be checked first).
Students attending the oral test will discuss the work done during the course exercises.

The evaluation of the written test is based firstly on the correctness of the adopted design solutions, and secondly on the correctness of the calculations. Each test will have an articulated development to which weight is assigned according to its complexity and difficulty. The grade will be given by the weighted sum of each part.
The evaluation of the oral test is based on the correctness of the answers and on the clarity and completeness of the presentation.

The written tests will take place at the Polo di Edolo, while the oral tests may take place both at the Polo di Edolo, in the same session of the written test or even in subsequent sessions, and at the headquarters in Milan on dates to be agreed in advance.
Registration for the written test must be made through the appropriate University Service; this registration is also valid for the oral test (if this takes place on a date different from the written test, please inform the teacher).
If you do not wish to take the written test once you have registered, please cancel your registration by the deadline indicated in the session (or in any case notify the teacher by email).
For working students or students with special and documented needs, it is possible to agree on different examination methods from those indicated.

For students with Specific Learning Disorders, please refer to the Student Guide and the University DSA Service (
Field activity: 16 hours
Computer room practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 48 hours