Term Project Outline

CE 394K Surface Water Hydrology
University of Texas at Austin

A Hydrologic Investigation of a River Basin in the Middle East

by Scott M. Muchard


The dry climate and sensitive political environment of the Middle East combine to make water resource issues a central concern in this region. For my project, I intend to perform a hydrologic study of one of the Middle East's primary river basins.


The objectives of my project are as follows:

1. Identify a river that is one of the chief contributors to the Middle East's supply of fresh water.

2. Delineate the watershed for the river.

3. Utilize precipitation and stream flow data to develop a rainfall runoff relationship for the river basin.

4. Demonstrate the ability of the World Wide Web to supply hydrological data.

5. Provide me with experience in using software for the manipulation and analysis of spatially distributed data.

If I do not experience too much difficulty in accomplishing the above five objectives, I will also attempt to:

1. Utilize temperature and land cover data to assess evaporation in the basin.

2. Utilize land cover data to assess infiltration.

Information Sources

Through some browsing on the Web, I have identified several sources of relevant data. The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) provides access to a number of useful online data sets. In particular, the NCDC Web page provides access to a system called CLIMUIS. This system can be used to display a collection of daily temperature and precipitation data for early 1995 to early 1996 gathered at monitoring stations around the world. The NCDC Web site also provides a link to a the Global Precipitation Climatology Center's global precipitation data set. This contains a 2.5 by 2.5 degree grid of monthly precipitation data for the entire world collected from 1987 to 1994. The U.S. National Geophysical Data Center World Data Centers A for Marine Geology and Geophysics and Solid Earth Geophysics Web site provides access to land and ocean floor elevations for the entire world on a 5 by 5 minute grid. Finally, the Web site for the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) project provides environmental observations made by school children around the world. These observations include land cover data.

The only key piece of information that I have not yet been able to find is stream flow data for rivers in the Middle East. If you have any advice on where I can find this data or want any of the Web addresses for the sites I mentioned above, drop me an email: