Thursday, August 8, 2019

JSWMM essentials

Interest around urban hydrology has been growing steadily during the last years, and recently had the opportunity to be published in large diffusion scientific journals as Nature. For years the mainstream hydrology has mostly dedicated its attention to "natural" catchments, while considering of secondary importance what happens in cities. Now that most of the people live in cities, and humans are clearly a global agent that affects climate and the whole Earth System, urban hydrology start to be seen under a different light. How works hydrology in cities ? And, for my own interests, how to model and eventually design cities' hydrology ?

My starting point is that good tools developed for generic hydrology should work also for cities. However, over the years some tools specialised for cities and captured the attention of the community of researchers that dedicated to it. Among those is EPA SWMM v5.1.
Actually, EPA SWMM is a rainfall-runoff model but its developer added tools for treating cities specifics, excluding,  a real system for designing storm water networks, a.k.a. pluvial sewers.
With the Master Thesis by Daniele Dalla Torre faced this issue to add to SWMM a designing tool, based on a simplified geomorphic unit based approach. In the meanwhile he found reasonable to port most of SWMM to Java and to embed it in OMS v3. Therefore SWMM became JSWMM and it is available at the GEOframe repository JSWMM inherit everything from SWMM and its i/o files can be run as they are in SWMM. JSWMM clone of SWMM has some evolutionary advantage with respect to SWMM (a part from the designing module which is not existing in the original). Inside JSWMM, in fact, any draining area is processed in parallel from the others, using the Net3 algorithms and this parallelism is made without any intervention of the user. Besides, in future, any appropriate module from GEOframe, could be used to estimate the desired element of the hydrological cycle. Including Richards-1d for infiltration or the coming soon 2D de Saint-Venant module.

No manual is actually ready but the draft of his master thesis (in English) can be used to understand JSWMM internals and his dissertation presentation can be used for the same scope.

Material (to be uploaded soon)

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Snow, Ice and Permafrost

On Friday 19, 2019, there will be an event the event "climb for climate". I will be representing the University of Trento and give a short divulgative talk. The result can be found here below.
There I briefly summarise three of the topics related on the cryosphere on which I and my colleague Alberto Bellin (GS) and our group did something.  Snow, glaciers and permafrost, not only are hydrological topics, they are certainly among the most fascinating ones.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

GEOframe Winter School 2020 - Save the date

The second edition on the Winter School on GEOframe will be held between January 8 and 17, 2020 in Trento, Italy.  The course is devoted to Ph.D. Students, Post-docs, Young researchers interested in estimating all the components of the hydrological cycle (rainfall, evapotranspiration, snow-melting, and river discharge), and the system they will learn allows to work out very small catchments and continental basins as well.

The aim of the course is to enable participants to run their own simulations on their own catchments and estimate the hydrological budget components.
With respect to the 2019 School, there will be more practice and more detailed work on evapotranspiration and rainfall-runoff. It will be much more focused on exercises and on getting the water budget performed under various hypotheses on models' structure

The provisional topics will be:

January 8 - Installation and introduction to the Object Modelling System Infrastructure and Jupyter Notebook
January 9 - Interpolation of hydrometeorological datasets
January 10 - Hydrologic Response Units delineation
January 13 - Estimation of evapotranspiration - I
January 14 - Estimation of evapotranspiration - II
January 15 - Rainfall-Runoff - I
January 16 - Rainfall-Runoff - II
January 17 - Snow-Modelling

More detailed program will be available on October 1, 2019. However, who is interested can browse the 2019 Winter School.

Cost of the School is 350 Euros for who will subscribe before November 1, 400 Euros for others. However the number of participant will be limited to 25. A discount of 20 Euros is granted to fellows of the Italian Hydrological Society (subscriptions for students are available at the IHS-SII site for 10 Euros to students and 20 to seniors). 
Teachers will be:

Riccardo Rigon, Ph.D.
Giuseppe Formetta, Ph.D.
Marialaura Bancheri, Ph.D.
Michele Bottazzi, Ph.D. candidate
Niccolò Tubini, Ph.D. candidate

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Some new Ph.D. positions

The new call for the 2019 doctoral position is out. I am interested in topic "D1/D2 - Agricultural, Environmental and hydro-meteorological sciences and engineering”. There are a few available doctoral grants which will be given to a selection of applicants, according to the rule specified in the call. I am interested in students who wants actively collaborate to the WATZON Prin Project. So please peruse the WATZONE project's pages to write your personal  project which the appllication requires.

Overview of the state of art of our topic

Plants water-use strategies are driven by plant functional traits (PFT) (examples are leaf size, toughness and longevity, seed size and dispersal mode, canopy height and structure, capacity for nitrogen fixation) (Mitchell et al., 2008) and in recent years, plant-physiology studies provided an increasingly detailed knowledge of plants behaviour (Schymanski and Or, 2017), but only some of them started to be inserted in ecohydrological models (e.g. Fatichi et al., 2016). Models simulating plant-hydraulic processes are still rare and confined to specific studies (Hölä et al., 2009; Mackay et al., 2015; Nikinmaa et al., 2014). Other studies account explicitly for topographic attributes and lateral water and mass exchanges (Ivanov et al., 2008; Shen et al., 2013; Tague et al., 2013), but their treatment of plant processes is often oversimplified (Zhou et al., 2013). In mountain terrain, even the effect of plot-scale (0.01-0.1 km2) spatial variability of the energy fluxes is still largely not understood (Rollinson and Kaye, 2015) notwithstanding pioneering stud- ies which account for various feedbacks are available, which show that vegetation productivity and water use do not change linearly through spatial gradients (Niedrist et al., 2016).
Research questions addressed
  1.  How specific plant water-use strategies can be implemented in hydrological models ?,
  2. Which is the relative role of biotic (PFT) versus abiotic (soils, topography, climate) processes in determining the spatial and temporal variability of ET and soil water?
  3.  Which is the right level of complexity necessary in models to upscale R3 results from plants to catchments?
  4. How to take advantage of a combination of advanced multi-sensor, multiscale observations to constrain eco-hydrological models and improve their spatial accuracy?
  5. How to leverage recent theories of transport to implement the solutes dynamics in plants ?

Other information

The candidate will take care of implementing, besides the code, the appropriate procedures for continuous integration of the evolving source code, and s/he will be also asked to maintain a regular rate of commits to the common open platform. Despite these conditions, and being free and open source, the code will be intellectual property by the coder. This will be guaranteed also by the components-based infrastructure offered by OMS3, which allows to better define the contributions of anyone.
The implementation part will be followed, accompanied by testing activities, either for mathematical consistency, and for physical consistency with experiments and field measurements.
The Ph.D. student is intended to produce, besides working and tested codes, also at least three papers in major journals (VQR Class A), of which, at least one as first Author.
All the code developed will be done in Github (or similar platform), inside the GEOframe community and will be Open Source according to the GPL v3 license.

The candidate will take care of implementing, besides the code, the appropriate procedures for continuous integration of the evolving source code, and s/he will be also asked to maintain a regular rate of commits to the common open platform. Despite these conditions, and being free and open source, the code will be intellectual property by the coder. This will be guaranteed also by the components-based infrastructure offered by OMS3, which allows to better define the contributions of anyone.The implementation part will be followed, accompanied by testing activities, either for mathematical consistency, than for physical consistency with experiments and field measurements.The Ph.D. student is intended to produce, besides working and tested codes, also at least three papers in major journals (VQR Class A), of which, at least one as first Author. Duration of the doctoral studies is three years.

Further information of the policies of the research group can be found:
P.S. - I am also considering:
  • Applicants who wants to apply to build the new GEOtop snow model but with attention to forest-snow interactions.
  • Who wants to work on the infrastructure of the OMS3, GEOframe systems.
  • Who wants to exploit the capabilities of the GEOframe system to pursue the modelling of the river Adige (and/or other rivers in the world), including human infrastructures.

The WATZON project

We had financed (small financial support indeed) a PRIN project called WATZON (WATer mixing in the critical ZONe: observations and predictions under environmental changes). It was reborn on the ashes of the Water MIX and PRECISE projects and its short description is:

"Sustainable land and water resources management is inextricably linked to a detailed knowledge of water availability in the critical zone (CZ), which is the thin outer layer of the Earth extending from the top of the tree canopy to the bottom of water aquifers, and that controls water quality and quantity, sustaining human activity. The CZ is experiencing ever-increasing pressure due to growth in human population and water demands, and changing climatic conditions. Understanding, predicting and managing intensification of water use and associated economic services in the CZ, while mitigating and adapting to rapid climate change and biodiversity decline, is now one of the most pressing societal challenges of the 21st century. Vegetation is a fundamental element of the CZ, as connects water from different storages in the subsurface zone with water in the lower atmosphere, therefore regulating water fluxes among different compartments of the CZ. Several studies in the last years have examined water mixing processes in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system. However, because of the large spatio-temporal variability of subsurface water movement and the capability of plants to access water from both deep and shallow sources, and the resulting highly-complex feedbacks in water exchanges between vegetation and other ecohydrological compartments, fundamental scientific questions on the effect of vegetation on the hydrological cycle, especially under different climatic forcing and land-use conditions, remain unanswered.
The main objective of the project WATZON (WATer mixing in the critical ZONe: observations and predictions under environmental changes) is to advance the understanding of water mixing in the CZ by investigating ecohydrological processes of water exchange between vegetation and surface and subsurface water compartments.

Specifically, the project aims at:
  1. assessing the description of water mixing process across the CZ by using integrated high-resolution isotopic, geophysical and hydrometeorological measurements from point to catchment scale, under different physiographic conditions and climate forcing;
  2. testing water exchange mechanisms between subsurface reservoirs and vegetation, and to assess ecohydrological dynamics in different environments by coupling the high-resolution data set from different CZ study sites of the project consortium with advanced ecohydrological models at multiple spatial scales;
  3. developing a process-based conceptual framework of ecohydrological processes in the CZ to translate scientific knowledge into evidence to support policy and management decisions concerning water and land use in forested and agricultural ecosystems.

The project objectives will be achieved by integrating different methodological tools, such as environmental tracers (isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen), advanced geophysical measurements and detailed ecohydrological models, to develop an interdisciplinary and holistic comprehension of ecohydrological dynamics under different climatic forcing and land use conditions. 
The project will create a new network of study sites in Italy (Critical Zone study sites) representative for different climatic, physiographic and vegetation conditions in the Mediterranean area, including grassland, forested and agricultural ecosystems. High-resolution and detailed experimental data and observations will be collected in a consistent way across all study sites in order to identify water pools potentially involved in ecohydrological water exchanges and fine-study root water uptake dynamics. The high-quality data collected in the field and the experimental results will serve as a basis to implement and apply new-generation, robust, reliable and realistic ecohydrological models aiming at assessing water mixing and exchange mechanisms between subsurface reservoirs, vegetation and atmosphere at the root-plant scale and the stand and catchment scale. Models will be used also to develop scenario-based projections for assessing the impact of land-use change on ecosystem services under different climatic and environmental conditions. 
In addition to the foreseen significant advancement of scientific research on water mixing processes in the CZ, the other main impact of WATZON will regard the communication with stakeholders and interaction with the civil society. Involvement of the most relevant stakeholders (e.g., water agencies, river basin authorities, reclamation and irrigation districts, government agencies for forest management and protection, national parks, municipalities and regional councils) will allow to translate the acquired scientific knowledge into practices to support effective and sustainable land and water resources management across a variety of climate and physiographic settings.

Our specific efforts, in which I will work with Giacomo Bertoldi (GS) and Giuseppe Formetta will be using the Mastch-Mazia Valley measurements made by EURAC and improve its dataset and, at the same time, lead WP3 of the project: Testing water mixing mechanisms through ecohydrological modelling 

WP3 will use data and experimental results provided by the activities  to test, implement and apply robust, reliable and realistic (R3) ecohydrological models aiming at assessing water mixing and exchange mechanisms between surface, subsurface reservoirs, vegetation and atmosphere within the CROSSes. Particularly, the models will be applied at three main scales: i) the scale of the roots-stems-leaves apparatus, to analyse vegetation water uptake dynamics and their possible switches over time; ii) the stand and iii) catchment scale, to examine how plant water use affects streamflow generation within different ecohydrological regimes. The starting set of models for the project is composed by GEOtop-dv, JGrass-NewAge (JN), now called GEOframe.

Task 3.1.This task will model ecohydrological processes. Soil water flow will be modelled through 3D Richards equation, with improved parameterizations of soil water retention curves, hydraulic conductivity and treatments of hydraulic conductivity. Interaction between water and roots will be implemented. New schemes of plants hydraulics will be implemented to obtain the partition between evaporation and transpiration. Energy and the carbon budget will be modeled to properly constraint the transpiration production. Tools for accounting for water age, and tracers concentration, will be coupled to the new modules of GEOtop and GEOframe. New gridding and numerics will be devised to mimic the experiments and measurements domains.

Task 3.2. This task will couple field data and ecohydrological models at the root-stem-plant volume scale. Along with the 3D simulations, 1D models will be used. Fluxes will be analysed both in time domain and estimating residence and travel time to cope with tracers at integrated soil-plant scale. These results will be compared with those identified by isotope data and geophysical measurements in project's catchments.

Task 3.3. This task will couple field data and ecohydrological models at the stand and catchment scale. New models of plants communities functioning based on plant functional traits and optimality principles will be introduced, along with the more mechanistic ones. The model results will be compared in CRitical zOne Study Sites –(CROSSes) 2, 4, 5 and 6 against isotope data.

WP3 provide the following deliverables.
  • Deliverable 3.1: New improved components of the models GEOtop and GEOframe and their documentation at the end of each project’s year (version +1,+2,+3).
  • Deliverable 3.2: Case studies will be provided for all the experimental sites, using the various versions of the model components. All the material for the simulation will be provided to the research community online by Open Science Framework.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A practictioner view on Water and Flood directives

I am participating to a book, edit by Paolo Turrini, Marco Pertile and Antonio Massarutto which aims to describe the status of the application of the Water Framework directive in Italy ("Water law, policy and economics in Italy:between national autonomy and eu law constraints"). Our chapter regards actually the application and the interactions between the Water directive and the Flood directive in the Italian Districts. This is an outcome of the activities initiated with the CLIMAWARE project and, in a sense, the continuation of my work as president of the Water Platform of the Alpine Convention in 2013-2014.
Please find the presentation by clicking on the figure above. Presentation is thought as a sequence of hints to topics I will eventually define better, after having heard what the other participants will say before me. The schedule of the meeting, held at Bocconi University in Milan today is here.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

The Hydrology Lab Class 2019

This is the lab class material for the 2019 Hydrology course of the University of Trento. Most of the material is in Italian. The more traditional part of lectures can be found at the following link.

Go to the Lectures

Used Software

There is no engineering without using models. During the class will be used various open source softwares and resources:
All these resources are free, besides being open. For installations requirements, please see the GEOframe winter school material here. For understanding a little more about this material, please look at "Getting started with Docker OMS and Jupyterlab" post.

Lab Classes and Lectures

Python resources for hydrologists

2019- 06-06  - Exercise with Python
2019 - 05-10  Lab Work on Precipitation extremes
2019-05 -19 - OMS and GEOframe
2019 -05-24  - Lab work on infiltration (Richards 1d)
2019-06 - 7&12&14  - Evaporation and transpiration
 This will be for another year -2D Richards simulations and runoff production:
  • Implementing a 2D simulation with Richards
  • Github
  • Other material and readings
  • Python notebooks
Go to the Lectures.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Francesco Serafin Ph.D. Defense and Thesis

Francesco Serafin is not anymore a Ph.D. student bu a doctor! His work concerned mainly the structure of the Object Modelling System Version 3 especially in two directions: improving the researchers modelling experience and improving the end users experience. You can learn directly from his video how.

The defense had a more than forty minutes of presentation and the same period of discussion. In order, you can find below, the presentation, the YouTube video of the the defense and the discussion (the latter in Italian).
  • The presentation (by clicking on the Figure):

  • The Video of the defense

  • The Discussion (In Italian)

      • Last but not least, the Dissertation is here

      Tuesday, May 7, 2019

      On Hydrological models structure

      In many papers that deal with semi-distributed hydrological modelling, it is argued about the models structure, a topic which becomes even more relevant when people talk about uncertainty and attribute to the model structure an error that is named epistemic error. But what is the model structure is rarely discussed in depth. Butts et al. (2004) discussed it citing the book by K. Beven (GS): “Beven (2000) breaks down the development of a hydrological model into the following steps:
      1. The Perceptual model: deciding on the processes
      2. The Conceptual model: deciding on the equations
      3. The Procedural model: developing the model code
      4. Model calibration: getting values of parameters
      5. Model validation: confirming applicability and accuracy”
      To these phases Clark et al (2011) also add:
           6. Characterizing the model uncertainty
      which is a requirement that certainly contemporary modelling demands. 

      Evidently, the concepts that are relevant for defining what a model structure is are the first two: "The selection of specific perceptual and conceptual models determines the model structure. " However, when parameters of the model are fixed, they also become part of the model structure. Models often are continuous function of parameters, nevertheless different classes of parameters, especially in non linear models, can trigger qualitatively different dynamics.
      Model structure includes a whole range of choices and assumptions made by the modeller either explicitly or implicitly in applying a hydrological model. Examples of different model structures include:
      • different process choices and descriptions
      • coupling of the processes
      • numerical discretisation
      • representations of the spatial variability-zones, grids, sub-catchments, etc.
      • element scale and sub-grid process representations including distribution functions, different degrees of lumping, effective parameterisation, etc.
      • interpretations and classifications of soil type, geology land use cover, vegetation, etc.
      There is a great variety of models and mathematical approaches to cope with the above issues. For limiting the discussion, let’s assume to concentrate on those models which are implemented as systems of ordinary differential equations. These models differs, in practice for:
      1. the number of equation (let’s called them places according to our classification of such systems)
      2.  the interactions between places (represented by the relative adjacency matrix)
      3. the form of fluxes laws
      4. the values parameters assume
      In particular, point (1) above deals both with the number of processes and the discretisation of the landscape in hydrologic units in space (called representative elementary watersheds REW, e.g. Reggiani et al., 1999 or Hydrologic response units, HRUs, Burges and Kampf, 2008). A recent tradition tried to build a heuristic about how to select appropriately these elements (e.g. Clark et al., 2011; Fenicia et al., 2011, Fenicia et al., 2014, Fenicia et al., 2016).
      Once these hydrologic heuristics are applied, we eventually find ourselves with the nude set of equations, and it could be interesting to see if there exist methods that can discover and classify the main properties of the dynamical systems which depends on their structure. This problem, indeed, has received a lot of attention in system and control theory (see for e.g. Ljung, 1999 and references therein), mostly to autonomous linear systems.

      Some of the aspects, in this case is the discover of T-invariants and P-invariants, or, in a less obscure language, of loops and set of correlated quantities that remains globally (i.e. their sum) stationary (i.e. Gilbert and Heiner, 2006). Other aspects regards reachability, i.e. the prior understanding if a certain distribution of the state variables can be obtained. All these aspect are well dealt within traditional books in system and control theory. Unfortunately the resulting structure of hydrological models is usually non-autonomous (the system are open) and non-linear. All aspects that make investigations more complicate, but probably not unfeasible. A lot of digging in literature and research is necessary though.


      Saturday, May 4, 2019

      Daniele Penna's invited presentation at the EGU Wien General Assembly

      At recent EGU General Assembly in Vienna, Daniele Penna was invited to give a talk on recent developments of tracers hydrology.  He was so kind to share with me the pdf of his slides, that you can find below by clicking on the Figure.
      Below, I am inserting the main papers cited.
      • Allen, S. T., Kirchner, J. W., Braun, S., Siegwolf, R. T. W., & Goldsmith, G. R. (2019). Seasonal origins of soil water used by trees. Hess, 1199–1210.
      • Bargues Tobella, A., Hasselquist, N. J., Bazié, H. R., Nyberg, G., Laudon, H., Bayala, J., & Ilstedt, U. (2017). Strategies trees use to overcome seasonal water limitation in an agroforestry system in semiarid West Africa. Ecohydrology, 10(3), e1808–11.
      • Benettin, P., Queloz, P., Bensimon, M., McDonnell, J. J., & Rinaldo, A. (2019). Velocities, Residence Times, Tracer Breakthroughs in a Vegetated Lysimeter: A Multitracer Experiment. Water Resources Research, 55(1), 21–33.
      • Beyer, M., Koeniger, P., Gaj, M., Hamutoko, J. T., Wanke, H., & Himmelsbach, T. (2016). A deuterium-based labeling technique for the investigation of rooting depths, water uptake dynamics and unsaturated zone water transport in semiarid environments. Journal of Hydrology, 533(C), 627–643.
      • Bowling, D. R., Schulze, E. S., & Hall, S. J. (2016). Revisiting streamside trees that do not use stream water: can the two water worlds hypothesis and snowpack isotopic effects explain a missing water source? Ecohydrology, 10(1), e1771–31.
      • Brinkmann, N., Seeger, S., Weiler, M., Buchmann, N., Eugster, W., & Kahmen, A. (2018). Employing stable isotopes to determine the residence times of soil water and the temporal origin of water taken up by Fagus sylvaticaand Picea abiesin a temperate forest. New Phytologist, 219(4), 1300–1313.
      • BUCKLEY, T. N. (2005). The control of stomata by water balance. New Phytologist, 168(2), 275–292.
      • Dawson, T. E., & Ehleringer, J. R. (1991). Streamside trees that do not use stream water. Nature, 350(6316), 335–337.
      • Dubbert, M., & Werner, C. (2018). Water fluxes mediated by vegetation: emerging isotopic insights at the soil and atmosphere interfaces. New Phytologist, 221(4), 1754–1763.
      • Dubbert, M., Caldeira, M. C., Dubbert, D., & Werner, C. (2019). A pool‐weighted perspective on the two‐water‐worlds hypothesis. New Phytologist, 222(3), 1271–1283.
      • Evaristo, J., Kim, M., Haren, J., Pangle, L. A., Harman, C. J., Troch, P. A., & McDonnell, J. J. (2019). Characterizing the Fluxes and Age Distribution of Soil Water, Plant Water, and Deep Percolation in a Model Tropical Ecosystem. Water Resources Research, 511(4), 605–21.
      • Matthias Sprenger, H. L. K. G. M. W. (2016). Illuminating hydrological processes at the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface with water stable isotopes, 1–31.
      • North, G., & Nobel, P. (1995). Hydraulic conductivity of concentric root tissues of Agave deserti Engelm. under wet and drying conditions, 130, 47–57.
      • Oerter, E. J., Siebert, G., Bowling, D. R., & Bowen, G. (2019). Soil water vapour isotopes identify missing water source for streamside trees. Ecohydrology, 168(344), e2083–36.
      • Orlowski, N., Breuer, L., Angeli, N., Boeckx, P., Brumbt, C., Cook, C. S., et al. (2018). Inter-laboratory comparison of cryogenic water extraction systems for stable isotope analysis of soil water. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 22(7), 3619–3637.
      • Penna, D., Hopp, L., Scandellari, F., Allen, S. T., Benettin, P., Beyer, M., et al. (2018). Ideas and perspectives: Tracing terrestrial ecosystem water fluxes using hydrogen and oxygen stable isotopes – challenges and opportunities from an interdisciplinary perspective. Biogeosciences, 15(21), 6399–6415.
      • Pernilla Brinkman, E., Van der Putten, W. H., Bakker, E.-J., & Verhoeven, K. J. F. (2010). Plant-soil feedback: experimental approaches, statistical analyses and ecological interpretations. Journal of Ecology, 98(5), 1063–1073.

      Monday, April 15, 2019

      Tom Dunne research on Amazonas river basin

      Thomas Dunne (GS) came to Trento one year and a half for research with a colleague. In the ocasion he gave a seminar on his research about Amazonas river that I recorded. I had the permission of posting  it after the publishing of a paper that was under submission at that time.
      Now the paper is accepted and I've got the permission to go ahead. The seminar is very enjoyable anf you will like it.
      Here it is the video

      Below the Discussion.

      Sunday, April 14, 2019


      Since 10 year, the Saturday after the EGU meeting, Guenter Bloeschl (GS) organizes at TU Wien a meeting of  hydrologists called the Wien Hydrology Symposium. This year among the guest there was Thomas Dunne (GS) who talked about fluvial geomorphology. Tom is universally known for his work as hydrologist and geomorphologist (both of them) and students will realize that saturation excess mechanism of overland flow formation take its name from him as Dunnian runoff.  Here you can find a picture of him with my own representation of "his" process.
      My draw is also here below for free usage (I have also the image for the Hortonian runoff though). 

      Thursday, April 4, 2019

      EGU Wien 2019: Two numerical models to solve Richards and energy equations

      This contribution discusses two methods of integration for Richards equation and the heat equation (for T > 0 centigrades).  Results are encouraging and show that temperature could be important to get the right runoff production.

      The model uses new numerics based on work by Vincenzo Casulli and Paola Zanolli, called nested Newton. The original poster is obtained by clicking on the figure.

      EGU Wien 2019: A Decision Support System based on GEOframe-NewAge in a data scarce environment

      NewAge in action is presented here as mainly the work of Marialaura Bancheri and her co-workers in Basilicata region. If you aske for applications, here you get them!

      By clicking on  the figure, you can get the slides.

      EGU Wien 2019: Doing open science in practical hydrological modeling

      Yes, we are doing open science. At least we try to do it. I gave some talks about Replicable Research, I put some posts, and I repeat something here. However there are some few practical things that needs to be further presented, and that excites us. Here they are:
      The presentation at least make a list of them, and give reference to more information. Click on the Figure for the presentation. Enjoy.

      EGU Wien 2019: Modeling the transpiration using the Schymanski-Or formula on alpine grassland sites

      You can do better than usual in  modelling by using the Schymanski-Or formulation of the evapotranspiration solution obtained by assuming the Penman ansatz. Here you can find some work related to it made within GEOframe.
      I am not co-author of the poster, he is Michele Bottazzi, one of my Ph.D. students. But  it is in line with our common findings.
      Please find the full version of the poster by clicking on the Figure.

      EGU Wien 2019: Snow Water Equivalent modeling: comparing GEOtop physically based approach with temperature-index-based models in GEOframe-NewAge

      In the work for a new version of GEOtop snow modelling, we are comparing here the results given by the GEOtop 2.0 snow model with those by the GEOframe components. Comparison is made in one point and, in both cases, requires calibration which is, however, made on different quantities for the different context. To get the results give a look to the poster.
      The work uses the data given by ARPA Val d'Aosta retrieved at Torgnon site
      Please find the high resolution poster by clicking on the figure above.

      Wednesday, March 27, 2019

      Freeze and Cherry, 1979

      Freeze and Cherry 1979 is a classical textbook on groundwater. Now it is available from the Hydrogeologists without borders site with permission from the Publisher.
      Clicking on the image above, you are immediately redirected to their site.

      Monday, March 18, 2019

      Snow for GEOtop 4.0

      We are going to  change GEOtop snow, we are struggling with the change since three years but beginning is always difficult. Today we are presenting some of the road we did and are goig to take.  At the fifth intercomparison meeting on SWE (modelling, measurements, remote sensing).
      Get the presentation by clicking on the Figure above. The title is in Italian (Elements for the development of a new snow model for GEOtop 4.0), but the contents in English.
      On similar topic were also the seminar by

      Tuesday, March 12, 2019

      How beatiful is this stuff on matrixes and graphs ?

      Yes I know that graphs are represented by incidence and adiacency matrixes. However I never realize how a matrix can be represented by bipartite (or multipartite graphs). My attention was brought to it by the Math3ma blog (by Tai Danae Bradley) which I follow with delight (I am not saying that I am understanding all I read there). In particular this blog post entitles "Viewing matrices and probability as graphs".

      The figure above comes from that blog and explain the concept that a matrix can be represented by a bipartite graph. If you understand it, then you can click on the Figure and continue your reading at the original blog.
      After that, I noticed that the matrix representation is actually quite concise. Is it the minimal (using less numbers, excluding indexes) representation of the graph ? And, viceversa, given a graph, can we partitions its nodes in  sets such that any node in a group is connected with nodes in the other groups, but not with those in the same group ? If we are able to do so, we can subsequently build the matrix representation of the graph, reverting the process used in figure. If our set of nodes in the graph is tripartite, then the resulting matrix will be three-dimensional and so on.

      In 1D (on the line) the partition is obvious and  is a bi-partition.  In 2D, the problem seems to be necessary a qudri-partition, at least for those graphs that are grids (cw-complexes): in fact the problem is the same of that brought to the four color problem. What happens in 3D ?

      P.S. - Recently (2019-07-16)I found this interesting paper.

      Sunday, March 10, 2019

      If you want to study the Critical Zone of hillslopes, start from here

      Recently a paper by Fan et al,  Hillslope Hydrology in Global Change Research and Earth System Modeling,  was published on  Water Resources Research, 85(3), 319–36. At the beginning I was thinking: "Hey, here it is another of those review papers which do not add anyhing to the existing literature".  This is not actually the case. The paper  is a very good introduction to many issues related to the Critical zone and its modelling and a source of relevant literature, of which I give an excerpt below.  The paper is open access and therefore you do not need any subscription to get it.


      Tuesday, February 26, 2019

      Recent advances in big data machine learning in Hydrology

      Chaopeng Shen (GS) of Penn State is organizing a series of Cyberseminars for CUASHI about Machine Learning in Hydrology.

      Recently big data machine learning has led to substantial changes across many areas of study. In Hydrology, the introduction of big data and machine learning methods have substantially improved our ability to address existing challenges and encouraged novel perspectives and new applications. These advances present new opportunities methods that aid scientific discovery, data discovery, and predictive modeling. This series cover new techniques and findings that have emerged in Hydrology during the previous year, with a focus on catchment and land surface hydrology.

      The announcement on the CUASHI site is here.

      All talks take place on Fridays at 1:00 p.m. ET: Registration is free! You must register for the series in order to attend. To register, click here.

      This is the foreseen schedule:
      • March 29, 2019: Machine Learning & Information Theory for Land Model Benchmarking & Process Diagnostics | Grey Nearing, University of Alabama
      • April 5, 2019: Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) networks for rainfall-runoff modeling | Frederik Kratzert, Johannes Kepler University
      • April 12, 2019: Use deep convolutional neural nets to learn patterns of mismatch between a land surface model and GRACE satellite | Alex Sun, University of Texas at Austin
      • April 19, 2019: Long-term projections of soil moisture using deep learning and SMAP data with aleatoric and epistemic uncertainty estimates | Chaopeng Shen, Pennsylvania State University
      • April 26, 2019: Exploring deep neural networks to retrieve rain and snow in high latitudes using multi-sensor and reanalysis data | Guoqiang Tang, Tsinghua University
      • May 3, 2019: Multioutput neural networks for estimating flow-duration curves in ungaged catchments | Scott Worland, Cornell University and USGS
      • May 10, 2019: Remote sensing precipitation using artificial neural networks and machine learning methods | Kuolin Hsu, University of California, Irvine

      Thursday, February 21, 2019

      Warredoc Winter School - Hydrology on data rich Hydrology

      Last month, Fernando Nardi of the Università per stranieri (University for Foreigners) in Perugia and Warredoc organised a nice and successful Winter School on Data Rich Hydrology.
      Many colleagues participated and gave very nice presentations. Here below I am reproducing verbatim the content of the School's pages with links to the pdf of the lectures.


      Lunedì 28 Gennaio

      Rafael L. Bras, The Era of Data Rich Hydrology
      Stefan Uhlenbrook, The WWDR and SDG 6 Synthesis Report

      Sessione pomeridiana
      Aldo Fiori, Groundwater hydrology and hydrological process mechanics
      Marco Marani, Beyond traditional extreme value theory: lessons learned from rainfall and hurricane intensity
      Maria Cristina Rulli, The water-food-energy nexus

      Martedì 29 Gennaio
      Sessione mattutina
      Rafael L. Bras, The Era of Data Rich Hydrology
      Stefan Uhlenbrook, The WWDR and SDG 6 Synthesis Report
      Fabio Castelli, Remote sensing and data assimilation in hydrology

      Sessione pomeridiana
      Roberto Deidda, Modelling scaling properties of precipitation fields
      Salvatore Grimaldi, Hydrologic measurements and novel observation technologies
      — Dinner & Social event —

      Mercoledì 30 Gennaio
      Sessione mattutina
      Salvatore Manfreda, Drones in Hydrology (lecture & hands on)
      Elena Volpi, Hydrological risk assessment: Return period and probability of failure

      Sessione pomeridiana
      Andrea Libertino, Advances in the space-time analysis of rainfall extremes
      Riccardo Rigon, Hydrologic modelling in a data rich world

      Giovedì 31 Gennaio
      Sessione mattutina
      Daniele Ganora, Data poor vs. data rich cases for flood hazard (lecture & hands on)
      Gabriele Freni, Distributed Data quality and urban flood modelling uncertainty

      Sessione pomeridiana
      Fernando Nardi, Citizen science and big data in hydrology

      Venerdì 1 Febbraio
      Sessione mattutina
      Tommaso Moramarco, Stream flow measurements: ground and satellite observations
      Alessio Domeneghetti, Remote sensing data and tools to foster inland water monitoring and flood modeling

      Tuesday, February 19, 2019

      Ph.D. Miscellanea - Jupyter Notebook with R or Python on Statistics and Hydrology

      This blog post is to share some of the notebooks provided by my Ph.D. students on the topics they follow in their Ph.D. classes. Please observe that some of the material are lecture notes by some of my colleagues. You can use them but you should cite the source when you do it.

      Sunday, February 10, 2019

      My Hydraulic Construction Class 2019

      The new class  is obviously based on the previous classes:
      There are some changes however, partially due to the different calendar. The course is essentially divided in three parts:
      • Rainfall analysis and statistics
      • How to design a storm water management system (SWMS)
      • How to design an aqueduct


      Rainfall analysis and statistics is essential to the design of the storm water system and requires some use of Python in Jupyterlab. Design of the SWMS requires the use of some Python, QGIS 2.18, GISWATER and SWMM softwares. The aqueducts require the use of QGIS and its plugin QEPAnet that implements the tool for estimating pressure water called EPANET.  All these tools are open source.

      More specifically:
      • Python - Python is a modern programming languages. It will be used for data treatment, estimation of the idf curves of precipitation, some hydraulic calculation and data visualisation. I will use Python mostly as a scripting language to bind and using existing tools. 
      • QGIS is a Geographic Information System. GIS are an essential tool for who works on landscape or planning infrastructures extended on the territory. 
      • SWMM - Is an acronym for Storm Water Management System. Essentially it is a model for the estimation of runoff adjusted to Urban environment. I do not endorse very much its hydrology. However, it is the most used tools by colleagues who cares about storm water management, and I adopt it. It is not a tool for designing storm water networks, and therefore, some more work should be done with Python to fill the gaps.
      • EPANET Is the tool developed by EPA to estimate water distribution networks. 
      Installation Instructions (for Windows) by Daniele Della Torre:




      As you can infer from the previous lines, the class needs to learn some hydrology, some hydraulics and the use of various softwares. As I try to explain in the Syllabus lesson, the first day, there is no space for exploiting all the possibilities implied by the software, nor even to go very deep in the theory of hydrological processes and even in the design of the systems. The student has to become comfortable with the idea that they (singular they) is going to get an introduction to all these topics and they will need further studies to use professionally the received information.  

      Foreseen Schedule

      T -  stands for a mostly theoretical class
      L -  stands for a class in the lab

      Precipitation analysis and statistics (and an intro to Python scripting)

      2019-02-25 -


      Storm Water Management System Design

      2019-03-25 -  T - Introduction to Storm Water Management System Design
      2019-03-25 - L - Working with GISWATER
      2019-04-01 T - Elements for the design of stormwaters management systems -I
      2019-04-04 - L - Using QGIS and GIS Water for designing the Storm Water Management System

      2019-04-08 T - for the design of stormwaters management systems - II
      2019-04-15 (Room 2F - 9 a.m.) Intermediate test (Questions pool).

      2019-04-30 Grades of Intermediate test

      2019- 05 -02

      2019-05-02 - OSF for Italians


      As a general, simple and descriptive reference, the first six chapters of Maurizio Leopardi's book can be useful :
      The state of the water supply in Italy is summarised here (Corriere della Sera, 2018-05-16)

      Some Examples of presentations on the projects of this class:
      Other interesting examples of presentations (from the course "Progettazione di acquedotti e fognature):