Friday, May 30, 2014

Printers 3D, Arduino and hydro-meteorological stations

One of the innovative works I  had the occasion to see at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting was the use of two emerging technologies to build low cost hydro-meterological stations. The poster was presented by Jay Ham of CSU, and a copy of it can be downloaded here.

The corner stones on which everything is built are 3D printers (Lulzbot Taz 2.0, Airwolf 3D) and the Arduino software.

A full set of instrument was presented, and frankly, I think it can be a viable way to do reasonably accurate measures and, at the same time, to multiply them ... or teaching the right way to students what an instrument is about the bottom up. The other aspect that I liked very much is that all of this is Open Hardware, a category that I never saw before. The software professor Ham built for running his weather station is  available on github.
If I never thought to build my instruments before, now I am seriously tempted to do something.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Snow (Neve)

As I did for the other "theoretical" part of my classes, I split here the old slides, in Italian indeed, in parts. Questo per un più semplice accoppiamento delle slides con l'audio delle lezioni.

Alcuni webinar (seminari via web) in inglese, sulla neve sono indicizzati qui.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Evaporation and Transpiration (In Italian)

Here my slides about evapotranspiration of my class of Hydrology.  Ho suddiviso le slides originali in varie parti, anche per rendere più facile l'accoppiamento delle slides con l'audio.^1

Altri posts sull'evaporazione e la traspirazione possono essere trovati qui.

^1 - Questo in verità e' anche il primo passaggio per una completa ristrutturazione del tema che pero' richiedera', credo, un po' di tempo.
^2 - Nella tesi manca un passaggio semplice e fondamentale, credo dovuto a Prandtl, in cui la fluttuazione di velocità verticale, è assunta proporzionale al modulo della componente orizzontale della velocità. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Stealing from Dennis Baldocchi ;-)

Dennis Baldocchi (GS) is one of the major contributors to studies of plant-atmosphere interactions.  Recently he also published a book on this topic, entitled Terrestrial Biosphere-Atmosphere Fluxes with Russell Monson (nice videos at his site).  I think the book is "must have" for hydrologists, even if after my first quick reading I realised that the approaches to some (more hydrological) topics perpetuate the "standard model" and interpretations of turbulence (but, it is a textbook!): full of up-todate-information  indeed^1.
 However, he also have the merit to put a lot of material in his group website, including slides and lectures. You can find them here:
Also available are some conferences talks which include videos.

^1 - Do not try to lear thermodynamics from here (look here instead). At least from chapter 2. Nothing especially wrong indeed, but very far from the clearness of my favorite books.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

R General References

You can start from here:
Interesting posts (mainly from R Blogger)
An finally this nice guide entitled: hipsteR re-educating people who learned R before it was cool.

If you have further questions, ask Stackoverflow

If you managed to learn how to write function, please decide to make a package. Emanuele Cordano found this nice post on github explaining why to do (thinking to  statistics).

An alternative pathway of instructions is here.

IUH and GIUH methods for modelling discharges (in Italian)

This contains the material, in Italian, that I use for my classes. It is old and the new material is here instead.

Please find below the old material with audio lectures.

Le slides sulla teoria dell'idrogramma istantaneo unitario e dell'idrogramma istantaneo unitario GEOmorfologico (credo un metodo non convenzionale di mostrare la materia per un corso di Costruzioni Idrauliche). Audio: IUH (31.1 Mb), Alcuni Tipici IUH (5.9 Mb), GIUH (16.8 Mb), sulle portate massime  (17.4 Mb)

Le note [pdf, 11 Mb] scritte sullo stesso tema e su altri di idrologia, funzionali al corso. Le note hanno ormai qualche anno e non sono completamente allineate con le slides. Tuttavia ritengo sia meglio averle che non averle.

Il tutorial di Peakflow (che è un modello per il calcolo delle onde di piena nei bacini naturali. La parte di teoria contiene una descrizione della teoria del calcolo delle portate massime - alle sezioni 5 e 6 - che è la stessa usata da Trento_p).

For the English an further references on GIUH see the English post (not yet ready).

Monday, May 19, 2014

Acceptance speech given by Andrea Rinaldo for his Doctoral Degree Honoris Causa

Andrea Rinaldo was awarded last Thursday, May 8th, of a Ph.D.  honoris causa From Québec University under the auspices of the INRS. As one of his former students, now colleague and friend, I was invited to participate at the ceremony held at S. Servolo Island in Venice. Beautiful day indeed, preceded and followed by a workshop in which, we, the group of friends talked freely about our research.
Andrea started with his talk on spreading of diseases, very similar to the one you can find here

In his speech  professor Rinaldo distilled many of his beliefs about academy, research and their role in society. Please find here the transcript of the speech

My selection among my favorite statements:
About our mission:
-“Indeed learned Institutions (among which I count Universities, research Institutes and Academies) can and should do something to counteract the short-sighted, short-term attitude that permeates today’s society. We can because we are not in charge of today’s economy and science, but rather of the economy and the science 20 years from now. This is so because the people we educate will create the economics and scientific research of the future.”

About Nature and Engineering:
“ … The hydrologist knows that the very idea of conservation becomes meaningless if not misleading in such cases. Mankind, in such fragile and unstable environments, should design the desired ecosystem services (physical, biological, cultural, strategic to name a few) and engineer them, unregretfully and wholeheartedly (as was demanded to the Serenissima Repubblica, say, through the diversion of five major freshwater tributaries of the lagoon through almost the entire course of history)… “

Citing Mandelbrot:
«clouds are not spheres, mountains are no cones (…) coastlines are not circles nor does lightning travel in a straight line».

Citing Kantorowicz: (also in the speech given by Rodriguez-Iturbe when granted of the Laurea honoris causa at University of Genova, years ago):
“We are not university employees subject to usual job discipline – to be a professor is to be of a different calling. In Kantorowicz’s own words: «There are three professions which are entitled to wear the gown: the judge, the priest and the professor. This garment stands for its bearer’s maturity of mind, his independence of judgement, and his direct responsibility to his conscience and his god.»  This is because we are the University.”

On  pursuing the good:
“The Swiss system, on the contrary, is based on trust – one that if breached calls for the system to react vehemently, and yet sees reward as the logical consequence of the work, appreciates success as the sign of the work behind it without treating it with suspicion and despise.  It is a system made to trigger positive feedbacks from visionary policy.”

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Process-based hydrological modelling of Alpine catchments

This last 2014 EGU we were invited to talk at HS2.1.2 session: Advances in Integrated Process-Based Distributed Hydrologic Modeling organised by Matteo Camporese and co-conveners. Giacomo Bertoldi (GS) gave it, and talked mostly about his own research on echohydrology of alpine catchments. His presentation shows very well his recent work and exploits the capabilities of GEOtop that were not presented at AGU last Fall. You can enjoy his presentation here.

His own collaborator, Johannes Brenner, completed the view with a second presentation that can be found here.

Monday, May 5, 2014

The uDig Spatial Toolbox paper

This post contains the data and the synthetic instructions that can be used to draw all the Figures of the book chapter about the Udig Spatial Toolbox. The chapter is here.

The material includes:

 - the DEM of the above Posina basin
- a "How to" for using the Spatial Toolbox  (work in progress)
- some  R scripts for doing the additional Figures.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Growth and Form - Morphogenesis

In my studies about the growth and form of river networks, I actually also touch several other works on the same subject and in other disciplines. I would not say that they are unrelated (see, for instance the Banavar et al, PNAS paper, where the very same principles we apply to river networks are used to explain the Kleiber's law).

Anyway some of these readings are summarised in web page of the Imperial College dedicated to morphogenesis of plants, that I reproduce here verbatin:

"The word morphogenesis is a composition of the Greek words morphê (shape) and genesis (creation) to indicate the process of generation of a particular shape. Morphology, the science of forms, was first made esplicit by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) in his botanical writings “Zur Morphologie“ (1817). The classic work by D'Arcy Thompson (1860-1948), "On Growth and Form" (1917), completely embraced the idea of a quantitative study of the way forms are created (morphogenesis) in living organisms. The third major contribution towards a refinment in the analysis of morphogenesis is due to Alan Turing in his seminal paper "The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis" (1952), where a family of mathematical models (reaction-diffusion models) is proposed to describe examples of pattern formation during morphogenesis in living organisms.
  When studying morphogenesis, it is important to define a method to measure forms (morphometrics) and the transformation of forms in time (morphodynamics). "

Water in Soil and Aquifers (mostly the first and in Italian)

This post collects the slides about water in soil (and some very short note about aquifers) for my class of Hydrology (they are in Italian). The old version was replaced by a series of short presentations:

  1. I suoli. Audio 2014  (23.6 Mb). Audio 2015 (28.7 Mb)
  2. Le faldeAudio 2014 (5.9 Mb). Audio 2015 (7 Mb)
  3. Definizioni. Audi0 2014 (4.1 Mb). Audio 2015 (5.4 Mb)
  4. Darcy-Buckingham. Audio 2014 (16.3 Mb). Audio 2015 (14.5 Mb)
  5. Le curve di ritenzione idrica. Audio 2014 (21.7 Mb). Audio 2015: a (14.3 Mb); b (5.8 Mb)
  6. La conducibilità idraulica. Audio 2014 (16.8 Mb). Audio 2015:  a (5.7 Mb); b (5.8 Mb)
  7. L'equazione di Richards. Audio 2014 (15.4 Mb). Audio 2015 (18.1 Mb)
  8. Le pedotransfer function. Audio 2014 (8.2 Mb). Audio 2015 (6.1 Mb)
  9. Semplificazioni dell'equazione di Richards in un versante. Audio 2014 (11.9 Mb). Audio 2015 (18.4 Mb)
  10. Richards 1D (una soluzione analitica). Audio (10.9 Mb)
  11. Richards 3D (la fenomenologia e alcune interpretazioni ottenute grazie alla soluzione numerica). Audio 2014 (9.4 Mb).  Audio 2015 (11 Mb)
  12. Un pò sull'effetto del substrato eterogeneo e sui macropori (sui macropori si veda anche questo post e la letteratura ivi citata). Audio 2014 (7.2 Mb).  Audio 2015 (7.8 Mb)
  13. L'equazione delle acque sotterranee. Audio 2015 (5.7 Mb)
  14. Misure 
  15. Notazione
A video (in English) on some of the above arguments (almost the same slides), can be found here.
 Qui anche delle note, non del tutto up-to-date rispetto alle slides, ma utili da leggere.


Abbott M., J. Bathurst, J. Cunge, and P. O'Connell. An introduction to the European hydrological system "Systeme Hydrologique Europeén" SHE, 1: History and philosophy of a physically-based distributed modelling system. J. Hydrol., vol. 87, p.4559, 1986a. 

Abbott M., J. Bathurst, J. Cunge, and P. O'Connell. An introduction to the european hydrological system "Systeme Hydrologique Europeén" SHE, 2: Structure of a physically based, distributed modelling system. J. Hydrol., vol. 87, p. 6177, 1986b.

ASCE, Hydrology Handbook. ASCE Manuals and Reports of Engineering Practice, n.28, 1996

Baver, Gardner e Gardner, 1972

Black and Dunne, 1978  Dunne T., Field studies of hillslope processes. In Hillslope Hydrology, Kirkby MJ (ed.). John Wiley and Sons, Ltd: New York, p. 227-289, 1978 ( Dunne T, Black R., An experimental investigation of runoff production in permeable soils. Water Resources Research, vol. 6, p. 478-499, 1970) 

Bouma, Pedotransfer function (PTF), Survey data for quantitative land evaluation, 1989

Brooks, R.H., and A.T. Corey. 1964. Hydraulic properties of porous media. Civil Engineering Dept., Colorado State University, Hydrological Paper 3. Fort Collins, CO, USA.

Brooks R.H. & Corey A.T., Properties of Porous Media Affecting Fluid Flow, J. Irrig. Drain. Div., vol. 6, n.61, 1966

Brutsaert, W. (2005), Hydrology: An Introduction, 1st ed., 618 pps., Cambridge University Press, USA.

Buckingham E., Studies on the movement of soil moisture. Bull 38 USDA, Bureau of Soils, Washington DC, 1907

Calzolari C. & Ungaro F., I modelli MACRO e SOILN: l'esperienza del progetto SINA-Carta pedologica in aree a rischio ambientale. In Modellistica e qualità ambientale dei suoli, RTI CTN SSC 1/2001, ANPA Agenzia Nazionale per la Protezione dell'Ambiente, p. 79-103, 2001.

Carsel R.F., & Parrish R. S., Developing joint probability distributions of soil water retention characteristics.’’ Water Resour. Res., vol. 24, 755–769, 1988.

Carslaw H.S. & J.C. Jaeger, Conduction of Heat in Solids. In: , Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford, p. 510, 1959.

Childs E.C. & Colis-George N.C., The permeability of porous materials. Proc. Royal Soc. A, vol. 201, pp. 392-405, 1950 

Chahal R.S. & Yong R.N., Validity of the soil water characteristics determined with the pressurized apparatus. Soil Sci., vol. 99, 98-103, 1965

Clapp R.B., & G.M. Hornberger, Empirical equations for some soil hydraulic properties, Water Resour. Res., vol. 14, n. 4, 601-604, 1978.

Cordano E., R. Rigon, A perturbative view on the subsurface water pressure response at hillslope scale, Water Resour. Res., vol. 44, W05407, doi:10.1029/2006WR005740, 2008

Cosby B.J., Homberger G.M., Clapp R.B. & Glinn T.R., A statistical exploration of the relationships of soil moisture characteristics to the physical properties of soils, Water Resour. Res., vol. 20, p. 682-690, 1984.

Ghislain De Marsily, Quantitative Hydrogeology: Groundwater Hydrology for Engineers, Academic Press, p. 00464, Maggio 1986, ISBN: 9780122089169

Dingman, S.L. (2008), Physical Hydrology, Waveland Press, Inc., 2nd ed, 656 pp., Waveland Press, Inc., Illinois.

Montgomery, D. R., and W. E. Dietrich (1994), A physically based model for the topographic control on shallow landsliding, Water Resour. Res., 30(4), 1153–117

D’Odorico P., Fagherazzi, S. e Rigon R., Potential for landsliding: Dependence on hyetograph characteristics, J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 110, F01007, doi:10.1029/2004JF000127, 2005.

Dunne, T. and L.B. Leopold (1978), Water in Environmental Planning, 1st ed., 818 pps., W.H. Freeman, Cranbury, NJ.

Gardner W.R., Some steady-state solutions of unsaturated moisture flow equations with application to evaporation from a water table, Soil Sci., vol. 85, p.228–232, 1958.

Gupta S.C. & Larson W.E., Estimating soil water retention characteristics from particle size distribution, organic matter percent and bulk density, Water Resources Research, vol. 15, p. 1633-1635, 1979

Marshall T. J. & J.W. Holmes, Soil Physics (second edition) by published by Cambridge University Press, 1988

Iverson R.M., Landslide triggering by rain infiltration IN: Water Resources Research, July 2000, vol.36, n. 7, p.1897-1910, 2000 

Kevorkian, J,  Partial Differential Equations: Analytical Solution Techniques, Springer Verlag,

Mays (2005), Water Resources Engineering, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

McLaren R. and K. Cameron (1996), Soil Science: Sustainable Production and Environmental Protection, 2nd ed., 324 pp., Oxford University Press, USA.

Micheli, E., The World Reference Base for Soil Resources, JRC, Ispra, 2004

Micheli, E., Mineral Soils Conditioned by Parent Material - Arenosols, Vertisols, JRC, Ispra, 2004

Micheli, E., Mineral Soils Conditioned by Topogaphic Setting - Fluvisols, Gleysols (Erika Micheli, JRC, Ispra), 2004

Micheli, E. Mineral Soils Conditioned by (semi-) Arid Climate - Solonchak, Solonetz, JRC, Ispra, 2004

Montgomery D.R. and W.E. Dietrich, Channel initiation and the problem of landscape scale, Science, vol. .255, p. 826-830, 1992.

Montgomery, D. R; Dietrich, W. E. (1995) Hydrologic processes in a low-gradient source area Water Resources Research, vol.31, no.1, pp.1-10, Jan 1995

Mualem Y., A new model for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated porous media, Water Resour. Res., vol. 12, 513–522, 1976

Nemes, A. and Rawls, W. J Evaluating of different representations of the particles size distribution to predict soil water retention. Geoderma (2006) (132) pp. 47-58

 G. Passadore, Modello matematico dei flusso nei sistemi acquiferi del Veneto Centrale, Tesi di dottorato, Università di Padova, (Supervisore, Prof. Andrea Rinaldo), 2008

Perret, J., Prasher, S. O., Kantzas, A. and Langford, C. (1999), Three-Dimensional Quantification of Macropore Networks in Undisturbed Soil Cores, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 63: 1530-1543.

Rawls W.J., D.L. Brakenseik, & K.E. Saxton, Estimation of soil water properties, Trans. ASAE, vol.  25, p. 1316-1320, 1982.

Rawls W.J. & D.L. Brakensiek. Estimation of soil retention and hydraulic properties. Book chapter in Unsaturated Flow in Hydrologic Modeling, edited by Morel-Seytoux. P. 275-300, 1989

Rawls et al, 1992 Rawls W.J., Brakensiek D.L. & Logsdon S.D., Predicting saturated hydraulic conductivity utilizing fractal principles, Soil Science Society of America Journal, vol. 57,  p. 1193–1197, 1993

Richards L.A., Capillary conduction of liquids in porous mediums. Physics, vol. 1, pp. 318–333, 1931

A. Rinaldo (responsabile scientifico),  L. Altissimo, M. Putti, G. Passadore, M. Monego, A. Sottani, Modello matematico di flusso nei sistemi acquiferi dei territori dell'autorità d'ambito territoriale ottimale "A.T.O. Brenta", Prima Relazione Intermedia, 2008

A. Rinaldo (responsabile scientifico),  L. Altissimo, M. Putti, G. Passadore, M. Monego, A. Sottani, Modello matematico di flusso nei sistemi acquiferi dei territori dell'autorità d'ambito territoriale ottimale "A.T.O. Brenta", Seconda Relazione Intermedia, 2009

A. Rinaldo (responsabile scientifico),  L. Altissimo, M. Putti, G. Passadore, M. Monego, A. Sottani, Modello matematico di flusso nei sistemi acquiferi dei territori dell'autorità d'ambito territoriale ottimale "A.T.O. Brenta", Relazione Finale, 2010

Romano N. & A. Santini, Effectiveness of using pedo-transfer functions to quantify the spatial variability of soil water retention characteristics. Journal of Hydrology, vol. 202, n. 1/4, p. 137-157, 1997

Saxton K.E., W.J. Rawls, J.S. Romberger & R.I. Papendick , Estimating generalized soil–water characteristics from texture. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., vol. 50, p. 1031–1036, 1986

Sheinost A.C., Sinowski W., Aerswald K., Regionalization of soil buffering functions: a new concept applied to K/Ca exchange curves, Adv,. GeoEcology, vol. 30, p. 23-28, 1997

 Simoni, 2007 (Equazione di Richards 1-D)

Su e Brooks, 1965

Taylor, S. A., and G. L. Ashcroft (1972), Physical edaphology:The physics of irrigated and nonirrigated soils, 2nd ed., 533 pp.,W. H. Freeman and Company, San Francisco. 

Targulian, V.O. Self-organization of soil systems, time scales and ecological significance of pedogenics processes,, 2005

Todini E., Rainfall-runoff modeling- Past, present and future., J. Hydrol, vol. 100, p. 341-352, 1988

Tholin A.L. & Chen I. Kufer, The Hydrology of Urban Runoff, Proc. ASCE J. Sanitary Eng. Div., vol. 84, n. SA2 56, 1959

Ungaro F. & Calzolari C., Using existing soil databases for estimating water-retention properties for soils of the Pianura Padano-Veneta region of North Italy. Geoderma, vol. 99, p. 99-121, 2001 

van Genuchten, M. Th., A closed-form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J., vol. 44, p. 892-898, 1980

van Genuchten, M. Th., F. J. Leij, and S. R. Yates, The RETC Code for Quantifying the Hydraulic Functions of Unsaturated Soils, Version 1.0. EPA Report 600/2-91/065, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, USDA, ARS, Riverside, California, 1991

Vereecken H.J. Maes, J. Feyen & P. Darius, Estimating the soil moisture retention characteristics from texture, bulk density and carbon content. Soil Sci., vol. 148, p. 389–403, 1989

Vetterlein E., Bezjehungen zwischen hydraulischer Leitfahigkeit und Boden-wassergehalt in Sandlehm, Lehm- und Tonsubstraten, Archiv Acker-u. Planzenb. u. Bodenkd, vol. 27, pp. 417-426, 1989

 Warrick  A.W., Soil Water Dynamics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2003. Hardbound, 391 pp. ISBN 0-19-512605-X

Weiler, M. (2001), Mechanisms controlling macropore flow during infiltration - dye tracer experiments and simulations, Diss. ETHZ No. 14237, Zürich, Switzerland. 


SOILPAR: By Acutis and Donatelli
ROSETTA: , uses artificial neural networks, last accessed, 2009- 11-01, last accessed, 2009-10-29

Friday, May 2, 2014

GIS history

I found on the web some interesting contributions on GIS history.

The various source origin of these contributions reflects the particular nature of this science and its community made of academics, practitioners, computer scientists, and others ...
If you want to know about the American GIS research communities, a good starting point can be the paper by Liang Mao: here