Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The material of the GWS 2021 is ready

And now everybody can enjoy it for its own work or research. Lectures was recorded and uploaded on VIMEO. Whilst GEOframe is an alive and evolving project, GWS2021 represent the best way to approach the GEOframe system. 



Topics overed:

Next Day/Task

Subscriptions for having credits for this class and support can be obtained by applying at  https://webapps.unitn.it/form/en/Web/Application/winterschool/GEOframeWS2021 and compile the form or write to abouthydrology@gmail.con with subject: GWS2021 if you need more information. After payment of the fee you can have individual support and gain the participation certificate if you setup and perform an exercise with the GEOframe tools. You can do it on a your own catchment or we can provide you with a catchment and the required data. 

Monday, January 25, 2021


 It was a pleasure to work with the young guys who setup the PRIN proposal WATERSTEM. Please find below the abstract of the proposal and cross the fingers for the project having success.

Mediterranean mountainous basins provide critical water supply and ecosystem services, yet these environments are increasingly at risk due to anthropogenic stressors and competition for water across urban, agricultural and environmental demands. On the top of this, future climate projections suggest a drier and warmer Mediterranean with large increases in the frequency, duration, and severity of hydrological droughts (i.e., runoff and groundwater levels below than normal) with serious consequences for the management of water resources and natural ecosystems. In spite of the recent progress in land surface monitoring, current drought estimation in widely used operational products still largely relies on poorly parameterized potential evapotranspiration, in combination with simple hydrological bucket models (e.g., drought indices) which have shown to lead to questionable results. As hydrological systems are intrinsically intertwined with climatological and ecological systems, the propagation of meteorological droughts (i.e., precipitation below than normal and higher temperatures) through them is modulated by a variety of mechanisms which are linked to carbon and water cycle interactions and specifically to how different plant species i) access subsurface water storages and ii) respond to water stress, high CO2 and high evaporative demand. Ignoring the parameterization of these mechanisms is often the norm in state-of-the-art land surface and hydrological models and impacts water balance closure via incorrect representation of transpiration leading to uncertainties in hydrological drought prediction. The ultimate goal of WATERSTEM is to unravel the interactions between carbon and water cycles as to understand the modulating effect of the vegetation on water-supply deficit (as opposed to the more frequently addressed meteorological drought) and its impact on water resources and natural ecosystems in Mediterranean climates. The work plan will focus on six Mediterranean mountainous basins and will employ a novel combination of field monitoring (water stable isotopes, tree ring analysis and geophysical measurements), remote sensing, data assimilation and ecohydrological models. WATERSTEM will develop a multidisciplinary and novel conceptual framework that will be used to translate the acquired scientific knowledge into practices to support water resources and silvopasture management across a variety of Mediterranean climates and physiographic settings. This is the core research of WATERSTEM, which is intimately coupled to the concept of Critical Zone (CZ, the Earth's permeable near-surface layer from the top of the trees to the bottom of the groundwater, where rock, soil, water, air, and vegetation interact and sustain life) that is fundamental for understanding and predict: i) hydrological droughts, ii) episodes of vegetation mortality (e.g., forest dieback) and iii) whether natural ecosystems may become a source or sink of carbon during drought.

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Data Horror Clip

 If you do not understand the nightmare caused by wrong management of data, please give a look to this clip. 

Take these 3 minutes. Senior certainly were in these situations several times in heir life. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Long live to the Horton Machine!

The Horton Machine is our set of tools for geomorphic analysis. It was named after  one of the father of Hydrology and Geomorphology, Robert E. Horton. The GEOframe group contributed since the beginning of it and at present, the tool is maintained by Hydrologis. The presentation below introduces the last stand-alone version of it and, in particular, there is a part dedicated to a tool that Hydrologis dedicated to the GEOframe community for giving a well balanced partition of catchments for hydrological analysis.

Obviously Horton Machine The Spatial Toolbox contains other tools than those for GEOframe, of particular interest are those that support the analysis of LIDAR dataset (L.E.S.T.O.), the use of the GEOpaparazzi (github) and SMASH mobile applications.  
Dr. Silvia Franceschi (GS) is briefly presenting here the tools. The slides of the presentation can be accessed by clicking on the above figure.  Please see the video of the presentation below

Thursday, January 14, 2021

About realism in models of infiltration

The Italian Association of Agricultural Engineering is organizing a group of webinars covering the topics the Associate study and research. I could attend to the first seminar, held by Prof. Antonio Coppola (GS).

His seminar was about the realism of models in Agricultural Hydrology and some of their applications.

Under this title it is easy to find very superficial and boring stuff. Instead prof. Coppola contribution was very interesting alive and inspiring. Therefore I think is a must see for anyone who, working on the topic, understand Italian.  If you take the time to listen to it, you will not waste your time. The pdf of the slides by Professor Coppola can be found here.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Peter S. Eagleson

I learned from Twitter that Peter S. Eagleson passed away. It is impossible to list all his merits for Hydrology. The seeds of his research and teaching are pervasive in Hydrology.  
I share here what Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe said when Peter got his Horton Medal:

“It is indeed a great honor for me, and also a great pleasure, to present to you the 1988 recipient of the Robert E. Horton Medal, Peter S. Eagleson. Shortly after it became public that Pete was the winner of this year's medal, I commented to my wife that, although I had never given a citation for an AGU medalist, this was one I would really love to give. The reason is simple: there is no one in the world who better represents the standards of excellence that a hydrologist hopes to achieve and that hydrologists hope our discipline will attain than Peter Eagleson.
Peter S. Eagleson (on the right) and Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe (Princeton, 2012)

Pete did not start his research career in hydrology. In fact, his Ph.D. thesis in 1956 and his research up to 1965 were mainly in the field of sediment sorting and transport by waves on beaches. During this period he also investigated problems related to flow‐induced vibrations of plates. His research in these areas was extremely successful, producing three chapters in books and about 20 journal papers in addition to many technical reports and journal discussions. Indeed, Pete had made his mark in wave theory and sediment transport, but it was good fortune for our field that starting about 1964 his interest in hydrology overcame all his past experience and assured a reputation in the waves and sediment field, and thus he embarked on a new adventure—bringing into hydrology the scientific rigor that existed in more academically established disciplines. With his strong fluid mechanics background—he still teaches that subject to undergraduates at MIT—Pete was ideally suited to lead the field toward new problems and also toward new approaches to old problems . . . and this he did indeed! Just in 1967 he and his students published six papers, most of them in Water Resources Research, which had a strong, an almost immediate impact on the field of hydrology. Here was somebody who was tackling the modeling of overland flow with the scientific standards of fluid mechanics. At the same time, finally somebody had arrived in the field who, using techniques from signal analysis, produced criteria for the optimum density of rainfall networks. I did not know Pete at that moment, but I remember reading many times his paper on the optimum density of rainfall networks and feeling the excitement of the author's original mind at work. It is the same feeling one has when reading his 1972 classic paper on the dynamics of flood frequency, where for the first time the stochastic nature of flood is analytically tied to the physical‐dynamic characteristics of the basin response. This intimate linkage between the probabilistic aspects of the phenomena, so crucial to hydrology, and the dynamic modeling of the physical aspects of the processes has become the trademark of Peter Eagleson's research and has had a profound influence in the field. Probably nowhere is this mark more evident than in Eagleson's series of seven papers, “Climate, Soil and the Water Balance: A Framework for Their Analytical Coupling,” published in 1978 in Water Resources Research. These papers are a magnificent display of imagination and analytic strength which go directly to the heart of hydrology, culminating with the dynamics of the annual water balance of the basin scale. They constitute a standard reference in the field and in my opinion one of the most significant hydrologic contributions in the last 20 years. This research led to Eagleson's theory of ecological optimality in water‐limited soil‐vegetation systems and inspired follow‐up research in different parts of the world on this most important topic.”