Saturday, December 31, 2022

Niemi's identity and celerity

There are at least two distributions that describes the hydrologic response, the backward travel (transit)  time distribution and the hydrologic response (e.g. Rigon et al., 2016b). The first accounts for the water age, the second is used to forecast the discharge or to summarize the history water follows along its path, i.e Rigon et al. 2016a. The second, projected into the future, is the statistics of life expectation of water parcels inside the control volume,  Rigon and Bancheri, 2021a,b.

Recently, in a beautiful review paper on transit times (Benettin et al. 2022),  to describe the difference between the two distribution, was used the concept of celerities by saying that the backward transit time distribution deals with the velocity of water, the response time distribution deals with the celerity. 

However, this is not the case.  The simplest form (one single output) Niemi's relation reads in fact:$$  IUH(t-t_i|t_{i}) J(t_{i}) \equiv p_Q(t-t_i,t_{i}) Q(t)  $$

where $IUH$ is the travel time distribution, $T=t-t_i$ is the transit time, $t_i$ the precipitation instant, $J$ is the precipitation,  $p_Q(T,t_{i})$ the backward travel time distribution and $Q(t)$ is the discharge.

Therefore if the $IUH$ is affected by celerities, also the $p_Q$ must be, unless precipitation and discharge are nor mysteriously related in a way to cancel its effect on the right side of the identity. It is much easy to understand that  the effect of celerities is inscribed in the time variability of both the distributions, $IUH$ and $Q$


Benettin, Paolo, Nicolas B. Rodriguez, Matthias Sprenger, Minseok Kim, Julian Klaus, Ciaran J. Harman, Ype van der Velde, et al. 2022. “Transit Time Estimation in Catchments: Recent Developments and Future Directions.” Water Resources Research 58 (11).

Rigon, Riccardo, Marialaura Bancheri, Giuseppe Formetta, and Alban de Lavenne. 2016a. “The Geomorphological Unit Hydrograph from a Historical-Critical Perspective.” Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, EGU Reprint Series, 41 (1): 27–37.

Rigon, Riccardo, Marialaura Bancheri, and Timothy R. Green. 2016b. “Age-Ranked Hydrological Budgets and a Travel Time Description of Catchment Hydrology.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, May, 1–22.

Rigon, Riccardo, and Marialaura Bancheri. 2021. “On the Relations between the Hydrological Dynamical Systems of Water Budget, Travel Time, Response Time and Tracer Concentrations.” Hydrological Processes 35 (1).

Rigon, Riccardo, and Marialaura Bancheri. 2021b. Supplemental material of “On the Relations between the Hydrological Dynamical Systems of Water Budget, Travel Time, Response Time and Tracer Concentrations.” Hydrological Processes 35 (1).

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Remembering Ignacio

My 3 minute tribute to Ignacio at his Memorial, College Station (TX), November 28th, 2022.
"Wish I were there. Ignacio made you my family and my research family. I would say, I feel at home and this is another great gift from him. Though being away has an advantage, I can still think that Ignacio is there, and I feel that he really is.
Difficult to say … so many thoughts accumulate emotionally in these days.
Like the thousands convective cells that clogged the sky in 1995 after the Mass at saint Thomas Aquino's church in College Station, those 510 mm  that made that rainfall historical. And our wives , Mercedes and Giovanna, making fun of our bold statement that a convective cell perdures twenty minutes.
Like our walks around the Wisenbaker building at the Texas A&M discussing not necessarily of hydrology but of life events, of meetings and the essence of good ideas.
Optimality. Optimality was not only a science target but a way of life turning positive what could have been negative. River networks shape and form could not be casual. And the randomness was a necessity for the free will but also for getting river shapes that were not that trivial. 
Chance and necessity. Chance made me to meet Ignacio, even if he met us before, having been the anonymous reviewers of one  of our most cited papers. My first one that turned my career into what I am now academically.
Oh, how much we laughed together, making fun of situations, Ignacio imitating and joking irresistibly. Oh, how was great that Sunday at your swimming pool, someone of us singing Italian operas pieces and you flooding us with anecdotes. I think Juan Valdes also remind it (and yes, Luis, you put a little too much lighter on the BBQ).
What is the gold medal ? Following the gold of science we have found also the gold of life.
So, hydrology is not just inanimate but an entanglement of processes which obey fundamental laws of thermodynamics and it is a dynamical interactions among creation of opportunities by energy and their consummations. That is not “what is life?” but has many aspects of life and is mixed with plants growth. Soil creation, sediment cycle, water cycle, carbon cycle. Linked.
In front of this picture that I due to you, I excavated my nest and my niche in the next thirty years and I gave, maybe, some contribution.
And the great enthusiasm of just three months ago. If vegetation covers the landscape, does it co-evolve optimally with it ?  Is optimality of the networks also reflected in optimality of vegetation use of resources ? How are these optimalities tied ?
Now you know all of it Ignacio. Our travel time has still to be understood instead. Ignacio, I was gifted to meet you, we all have been gifted. "

Monday, November 21, 2022

4DHydro - Hyper-resolution Earth observations and land-surface modeling for a better understanding of the water cycle

The 4DHydro Project, a shortname for Hyper-resolution Earth observations and land-surface modeling for a better understanding of the water cycle is an ESA contract  . The overarching objective of the Hyper-resolution Earth observations and land-surface modelling for a better understanding of the water cycle project, hereafter 4DHydro , is to foster a wide and thriving collaboration between the EO water cycle community developing novel high-resolution EO data products, and the land surface and hydrological modelling community engaged in advancing hyper-resolution modelling of the hydrological cycle at regional and continental scales.

Participants include most of the groups working on these topics in Europe. The synthesis of the proposal can be found here

Sunday, November 6, 2022

(Inter)active WHETGEO 2D Poster for the Italian Hydrological Meeting 2022 in Genova (Italy)

Because I am usually bored of repeating things, I tried here to renovate the poster experience. The poster itself can be done much more attractively, I guess. However, I added several QR codes that send the reader to videos which comment any part of it.  These videos, in turn are part of a presentation that is also included below.  The poster is intended to illustrate the content of research work and implementation that is currently in a pre-print form, submitted to the Environmental Modelling and Software journal (available at the previous link). 

  • The poster itself is here.
  • The presentation that explains the poster is here. 
  • The videos showcase is here.
The good of the poster experience is that if you resolve the QR codes with a mobile you have right away the video explanations. 

Monday, October 31, 2022

The Po Project

 This is the presentation of the project I gave to the Po River Authority in Parma on last Monday. 

Slides can be found here

Thursday, October 20, 2022

My Water Management Methods in Agricolture (Class) - The lab

 Go to: The schedule

This blog post contains the material of the lab class which includes data, software and instructions on how to use it. 

Image from: K. Beven's Pantha Rei

2022-10-20  - QGIS and GIS

2022-11-03 - A quick introduction to QGIS
2022-11-10 - A quick introduction to QGIS

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

My Water Management Methods in Agricolture (Class) - The Schedule

 Go to: The Lab

This post contains the material of the class of Water Management in Agricolture. The course is experimental and we are going to convey a lot of information. However, for this reason this page will be constantly under construction until the end of the course. 

Anticipations about the course can be found at:

- Ideas for a Course in Water Management for Agricolture

- Strumenti per la gestione dell'acqua dalla pianta al bacino

Image from: K. Beven's The still dynamics


Classes will be held in English with the help of slides. Slides will be uploaded in advance on this OSF site.

All the video are actually uploaded to the VIMEO Showcase of the class

2022-10-19 - A little of information about the course and Introductions

Some generalities about Radiation

Radiation is the engine of all the water movement. These lessons give some basic information about what we have to account for when trying to estimate it. Reference to the Plank and Stefan-Boltzmann law is a necessary tribute to radiation physics without which nothing can be understood. 

2022-11- 12 - Water in soil and aquifers. Darcy-Buckingham. Hydraulic conductivity. Soil water retention curves (Storyboard2020)

Once precipitations arrive to the ground surface they either infiltrate or generate runoff. We first state how they infiltrate and, actually how water behave in the soil and in the ground. We talk about the complexity of the Earth surface that contains life and call it, the Critical Zone. To study infiltration we introduce the Darcy and Richards equations of which we explain the characteristics. 

2022 - 11- 19
 - The Richardson-Richards equation  (Storyboard 2020, Storyboard2022_2, Storyboard2022_2_2)

Evaporation generalities (Storyboard2020)

A consistent part of root zone and surface water evaporates and returns to the atmosphere to eventually form clouds and precipitation again. The process follows quite complicate routes and is different when happening from liquid surfaces, soil or vegetation (and BTW animals).  In this group of lectures we try to figure out the physical mechanisms that act in the process and give some hint on methods to estimate evaporation and transpiration with physically based models. 

2022 - 12- 01 
2022 - 12- 07 - Differentiation evaporation and transpiration 

2022-12-14  - A very little of hydraulics (with an eye to irrigation) in two storyboards

 To irrigate well a little of hydraulic notions are needed. They re reduced here to the bare-bone. 
2022-12-15 - Irrigation

When irrigating ? Which infrastructures have to be implemented ? How to command and control irrigation ? Using the irrigation system smartly. 

    A. Capra and B. Scicolone - Progettazione e gestione degli impianti di irrigazione -Edagricole

    Nolz, R., et al. "Soil water monitoring in a vineyard and assessment of unsaturated hydraulic parameters as thresholds for irrigation management" Agricultural Water Management 164 (2016): 235-242

    Hardie, W. James, and Stephen R. Martin. "Shoot growth on de‐fruited grapevines: a physiological indicator
    for irrigation scheduling." Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research 6.1 (2000): 52-58.

    Goodwin, Ian. Managing water stress in grape vines in Greater Victoria. Department of Primary Industries, (2002- updated 2009)

     Go to: The Lab

    Monday, October 17, 2022

    New USGS Water Cycle representation

    People says that this new representation includes anthropic action and this represent a new step in our consciousness (well, it was already present in Oki and Kanae, 2006).  Here it is the figure, a nice work of art indeed.

    The original comments are here:

    Thursday, October 13, 2022

    Tools for supporting the management of water availability from the plant to the basin

    In the occasion of the 100 years of the Land Reclamation Italian Consortia a meeting is held in Trento where I was invited to talk. The content of my talk (I am supposed to talk to politicians, stakeholders and farmers) is below 

    The talk and the slides are in Italian.  However, what I was talking about is the use of hydrological modelling, supported by Earth Observations and ground measurements in order to manage more precisely crops and farms (at least from the water quantity point of view).


    Thursday, September 29, 2022

    Reflections on the 2022 Drought in Italy (In Italian) by the Italian Hydrological Society

    Trovate il manoscritto cliccando sulla figura.  

    Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe (1942-2022)

     Ah Ignacio,

    you are gone

    thinking to Earth's optimality

    inspiring us until

    the last day!

    In all the hydrologists

    there is something of you

    and clearly now you've seen

    the unity of river networks

    and ecosystems as you dreamt

    to exist

    You've brought us where

    alone we could never have been

    and we miss you immensely

    but thanks to you,

    the roads you opened wide,

    we'll go forward

    and upward 

    as an important goal 

    of our lives.

    May the almighty God

    preserve you in their heart

    One of the post you would not write. 

    Thursday, September 22, 2022

    Subsurface-Surface Water Flow and the Nested Newton Algorithm by Vincenzo Casulli

     On March 19th we had in Trento Martyn Clark (GS), Louise Arnal (GS) and Wouter Knoben (GS) to discuss about common research pathways. It was a dense day of discussions and exchange of ideas that started from the Mesiano terrace, continue inside, at the pizzeria Korallo, and later with an aperitif in Piazza Fiera and could have continued for days. You realize that the afternoon is missing. The afternoon was even better because Vincenzo Casulli (GS) gave a couple of talks about how to integrate subsurface and surface flow, and about his Nested Newton algorithm for solving a special class of non linear problems. Vincenzo agreed to record his talks and now you can appreciate them here below.  

    Friday, September 9, 2022

    Commanding OMS3 simulations from the Command Line (or from a Jupyter Notebook)

     The normal way to start OMS3 simulation is the use of its console. However, it could be convenient to command project simulations directly from the command line of a terminal (in Windows, in Mac OS, Linux users  know what a terminal is). 

    The presentation above (click on the Figure) explain how to do it. Jupyter Notebooks can also be used as terminal. The presentation connects to a Notebook where it is done

    Saturday, September 3, 2022

    Preparing for a CAMELS-Po dataset

    CAMELS stand for Catchment Attributes and MEteorology for Large-sample studies. The clearest introduction is in Krazterk er al. It tells “Detailed datasets combining hydroclimatic time series, landscape attributes, and/or hydrological response variables like streamflow exist for many experimental catchments, in many cases spanning decades. ... In parallel, there also exist tens of thousands of gauges monitoring rivers across the world. .... Gupta et al. argued that large sample sizes allow for assessment of the generality of hydrological models and research findings. Large sample sizes also allow for large-scale research like detecting and attributing systematic shifts in terrestrial water availability at regional to global scales. ... Recognizing this has led to the development of a sub-discipline in the hydrological sciences called large-sample hydrology (LSH), which relies on data from hundreds to thousands of catchments”. (Please read the references for more information).

    The initiative has also the scope to enable multiple approaches on catchments studies that were in the past often too much limited to single case studies with poor ability to get a satisfying generality. In a sense, the CAMELS initiative pursues some of the same objectives that the global hydrology trend, where a cohort of researchers aims to cover the whole Earth catchments with simulations often with high resolution models (Wood et al., 2011 ). The latter trials, whilst providing ubiquitous hydrological forecast are scanty in providing accurate local estimates for lack of information and characterization (as well as some Earth observation/data driven global solutions). It is easy then to foresee that there will be soon a new effort in doing large simulation on hyper-resolved catchments with these new ground-based datasets that will open and reanalysis era in catchment hydrology encompassing scales, regions and climates.

    The initiative of the Po river project, supported by the River Po basin Authority goes in this direction, in the limited but extremely complicated are of the largest basin in Italy. As a preliminary effort we we inaugurate the CAMEL-Po actions. What the CAMELS-Po action aim is to serve several objectives:



    1.1 - to give a common and shareable watershed delineation of the Po river at a scale of 10 square kilometers, eventually  to be refined at 5 kilometer an to the hillslope extents in future passages (obtained with open source softwares Horton Machine)
    1.2- Include major lakes and reservoirs in this delineation
    1.3- to estimate some common geomorphic quantities to marks watershed characteristics and their spatial variations (as already standard in the CAMELS datasets)


    2.1 - to build a solid restitution of the last 30 years of hydro-meteorologic data over the catchments, initially with one point  per catchment, eventually over a standard regular grid, i.e., and eventually make it public (including all the quantities available as ground data)

    2.3 -Providing a re-analysis of such data at very high resolution blending various source of information, like weather reanalysis, radar and EARTH observation datasets


    3.1 Providing facilitate access to EO and other data catchment by catchments in the logic of the Digital Earth Twins of Hydrology (DARTHs)


    3.2 Providing a reanalysis of the snow cover over the whole Po during the last 30 years by using ground observations, GEOtop and GEOframe at 1 km scale


    These objective are a minimal part of the Po project, which is more ambitious and involve several modelling tasks of the various quantities and several scientific investigations.

    For who interested in these follow ups, stay tuned. For who interested in the logic of CAMEL sets, see the references below.

    Cited and non cited References

    Monday, August 29, 2022

    Just questions on celerity

     “Celerity, broadly speaking, is the rate additional potential energy supplied by water inputs propagates through the landscape and ultimately does the work of mobilizing water into the stream and out of the watershed. Thus, celerity determines how quickly the stream responds to the storm and how long it takes for discharge to decline after the storm. Velocity, on the other hand, determines how long it takes water molecules to traverse the watershed and so controls the age composition of discharge.” (Harman, 2019).

    However, in Richardson-Richards equation, celerity and velocity are tightly connected by the soil water retention curves. So much water, so much pressure. Therefore:

    Are SWRc to be modified to account for pressure transmission through the medium ? No pressure transmission is allowed in vadose water phase discontinuous medium ? Pressure transmission is possible only in saturated soil ?


    Harman, C. J. 2019. “Age ranked Storage discharge Relations: A Unified Description of Spatially Lumped Flow and Water Age in Hydrologic Systems.” Water Resources Research 55 (8): 7143–65.

    Tuesday, August 9, 2022

    WHETGEO-2D an open source tool for solving the 2D Richards equation

    For new readers, WHETGEO stands for Water HEat and Transport in GEOframe. It is a set of models that deals with the processes in soils. The paper describes the 2D version of it, at least its initial deployment, since the system was built on the idea of expandability. The paper and its abundant supporting material a a step towards a series of further analyses of  the water behaviour in the vadose and saturated zones.

    DeAnn Presley painting (
    The paper was submitted to environmental Modelling and Software and can be found  here.  Extensive material and video about WHETGEO 2D can be found among the material of the GEOframe Summer School

    Sunday, August 7, 2022

    Nobody applied to this call ! Reactions by Solomon Vimal ( How to Mobilize Top Tech Talent Towards Hydrology)

    In a blog post, followed by a list-serv email, Prof. Rigon exclaimed,  “Digital Hydrologists from around the world unite! Nobody applied for this call”! His project focuses on building digital earth twins for the hydrologic cycle using advanced cyber infrastructure and software architecture solutions that are unusual in the field of hydrology in most hydrology groups around the world. He added, “Klemeš, V. (1986) reflected on dilettantism in Hydrology [... we cannot] manage complex interactions and feedback with poorly based informatics”. Prof. Rigon’s outcry indeed makes one think: “Ehi, out there, is anybody interested? Anybody interested in a PhD in this topic?”

    It prompted me (Salomon Vimal, see below note by rr) to think -- what can be done to attract top informatics talent into hydrology?

    Asterisks marks rr notes that you can find at the bottom.

    Hydrology is a tiny field. We are a small sub-field of civil engineering. Among say 100 students who leave high school, conservatively, perhaps 1 in every 3-5 (maybe more!) years of graduation will reach the field of hydrology if lucky, and often by chance. This is an estimate on the basis that nobody in my circles from high school even knows what hydrology is. A subset of them may sign up to list-servs. A small subset (say 1/10) of professors would forward it to interested students in relevant MS programs. The incentives of a PhD salary in Italy, especially $ *, is relatively small compared to what most people with above average skills in tech industry get, so this filters a good portion of them out. Taken together with the fact that 95% of good software tech is developed by only a tiny fraction of the top percentile of the coders (more on this below), it is important to look for the tech talent with a different strategy to attract the cream-dela-creme. These call for a closer look at the tech talent pool and incentives to have them move to the small field **.

    Let’s look at Stack Overflow’s (SO) skilled pool of talent. Let's assume SO is a good representative slice of the world's tech talent (which it indeed is). Some observations based on data on distribution of tech talent that can be drawn from Stack Overflow data queries at It may be helpful to look at how many people, with what skill level, contribution, and reputation are out there. There are 18M total SO users (see the query here). 95% of all activity is by 1M people with a 80 reputation. 80% of all activity is by 0.3M people with 850 reputation. 70% of all activity is by 100K people with 2K reputation. 50% of all activity is by 37K users with 7K reputation. The query example here can be modified to examine percentiles. But the point made here is simple. Most of the work comes from a very small fraction of programmers. For reference, I asked as well as answered 17 questions (a balanced karma) and only a few of my questions were actually appreciated and this puts my reputation score at ~880 (Aug, 2022) which accrued over 5 years or so, and I fall into the bucket of the top 0.3M users, i.e. top 1.6 percentile (by score) reputed users who make 80% of all contributions. My score is nothing compared to the top 50-100K users. While I generally feel comfortable to say that I am good with programming (with over 10 years of experience in Python), I certainly would not apply for the informatics job above, as I do not think I have sufficient skills to start contributing to the informatics/architectural aspect of the project without proper training in CS/IT. I would perhaps defer this position to someone with a score of >2-5K in SO or a degree in CS/IT. Using the query engine and the SQL language offered in Stack Data, one may try to find good metrics like rising stars on SO using one of the many threads on such metrics and pick the good ones to hire from such lists and write to them individually rather than wait for them to find the PhD job post***.

    We may consider joint-specializations in PhD: In my previous company (, flood models were built using GPU computing. Most of the hydrologists were unable to program with the GPU, but it was indeed developed in academia in a PhD work by someone at Penn State who had a PhD major in hydrology and minor in informatics — computational science, if I remember correctly. Most PhD programs do not offer such minor course work based specialization. Maybe universities can team up with the CS departments and offer a joint PhD in CS - this could be a solution to be attractive to a broader audience. I have no idea about the ground realities of bureaucracy that may impede such a solution, but I recall a double PhD in river science was offered at U. of Trento some years ago. ****

    Let’s not forget the blackhole which attracts and retains top talent: Google alone has ~27K engineers (here, estimated for 2022) a good majority of whom are on SO, like the top user. The bulk of the good ones who do 50% of all activities are perhaps already taken by such Big Tech companies so PhD programs are not left with any good ones who have high reputation in SO. I know that Big Tech companies do have a similar approach to identifying top tech talent. If one prefers to do hiring in the more traditional way, one may write to CS department heads in some select universities in global cities that are in countries that would typically consider a move to Italy for PhD.

    Consider the places where the bulk of tech talent comes from: The bulk of the top CS talent is arguably in US/China - clearly leaders in tech companies, products and talent - most of them perhaps won't move to Italy for PhD. This basically rules out many top university graduates. We are then left with some of the good institutes in other countries well-known for their contribution to global tech talent. India, for example, has a very strong IT workforce. But, it is better to focus on cities rather than countries in the case of CS expertise. In my experience cities that are Silicon Valley Like (SVL) in various countries might be good places to look. If I were to hire tech talent, I would simply look in the developing SVLs such as Tel Aviv, Bangalore and the NCR Region of India -- which certainly have a very strong talent pool in CS, perhaps not comparable to Bay Area or Shenzhen. I do not know the equivalent SVs of other countries but numerous articles like this one exist which enlist them. 

    Finally, salaries: Horton wrote about a related issue in hydrologic research (Horton, 1937): "Men of highest degree of knowledge and experience in hydrologic matters are not likely to be employed by government salaries". The cream-dela-creme of the SVLs worldover will get salaries that will be well beyond the incentives of the PhD. In such a scenario, it may be sensible to adopt a different hiring approach and reach out to CS departments of universities strategically and identify candidates who have a demonstrable great level of skill in informatics which we are interested in and fully incentivize them to move to hydrology. For example CS graduates with say 3-5 years of experience from such SVLs may be interested in moving to Italy for the international experience and the good (alternate) life experience, even if the salary cannot per se incentivize a move. *****

    It is indeed important for the field of hydrology to thrive with good software personnel who are also sought in all fields of science and all other domains of human pursuit. I hope we all agree this is a core problem with hiring good IT talent. Hydrologists need to hire top IT talent comparable with Big Tech companies to truly create good software as most of the good stuff comes from a small portion of skilled coders. It may be a good idea to give such hiring strategies a careful consideration. I hope my rambling is useful to hydrologists to reflect and find a good solution or hiring strategy.

    Solomon Vimal

    Solomon Vimal is an avid reader of the About Hydrology blog since 2011. He completed a PhD in hydrology in 2022 from University of California, Los Angeles on the topic, “Climate Change Impacts on Millions of Lakes”. He is now the founder and CEO of Geothara, a tech company currently incubated as a startup company at UCLA’s summer accelerator program and part of the 2022 cohort of the Runway Postdoc program at Cornell Tech in New York City. 

    About Geothara: Geothara offers geographic change detection and visualization software to help its users explore the changing world using satellite images and a novel, up to 30% more accurate trend detection technique via a patent-pending technology that enables smarter location-specific decisions.

    Comments by rr

    * However, I would make not just a point of salary. The salary of a PhD student is not high but enough to live in Italy, if you are a young guy. Obviously you expect that the sacrifice bring some benefits. I cannot judge myself, but I believe that you can learn something from studying in Trento that you cannot learn elsewhere.

    ** small field (if we restrict our focus on digital hydrology) but important for life on Earth and for any community if we think that all is about water availability. After all everything which is alive requires water.

    *** when we have our son, I felt somewhat inadequate to the role of father. Then I simply did (and I am doing) it. Never the fear should to succeed to stop you. Try ! PhD is a learning process.

    **** That degree would be great to be set up but the start it is subject to the uncertainties and foresight of academic policies

    ***** unfortunately in Italy the salary is established once forever by the state (ok, maybe the single Universities could give some incentives). I will investigate what is possible.

    Friday, August 5, 2022

    Nobody Applied to this call ! Follow up by Keith Beven

     Keith Beven (GS), answered to my previous post and I think it is relevant to bring to the knowledge of everyone his point of view: 

    "Dear Riccardo,


    This is clearly something I have been interested in for a long time – in fact I was writing about models of everywhere long before digital twins became the parlance to use.


    I attach some papers that you have not cited but would seem to be relevant. "

    He also added in a second mail:

    "I should perhaps have added that if you look at those papers you will see that I think there is one really important innovation associated with models of everywhere that carries over to the digital twins (where the latter is applied at appropriate scales) and that is the use of visualisations in testing models as hypotheses – including the use of information from local stakeholders.    You gain little from applying models at hyperresolution when hyperresolution is 1km for example (see the hyperresolution ignorance paper).   "

    From Keith's "Still Dynamics" book (click on the image for the book)

    Here the paper he cited:

    Beven, Keith J., and Ruth E. Alcock. 2012. “Modelling Everything Everywhere: A New Approach to Decision-Making for Water Management under Uncertainty.” Freshwater Biology.

    Beven, Keith, Hannah Cloke, Florian Pappenberger, Rob Lamb, and Neil Hunter. 2015. “Hyperresolution Information and Hyperresolution Ignorance in Modelling the Hydrology of the Land Surface.” SCIENCE CHINA Earth Sciences 58 (1): 25–35.

    Beven, Keith. 2019. “How to Make Advances in Hydrological Modelling.” Hydrology Research 50 (6): 1481–94.

    Blair, Gordon S., Keith Beven, Rob Lamb, Richard Bassett, Kris Cauwenberghs, Barry Hankin, Graham Dean, et al. 2019. “Models of Everywhere Revisited: A Technological Perspective.” Environmental Modelling & Software 122 (December): 104521.

    Panta rhei is new picture book by Keith, while Still Dynamics is only available on pdf now. 

    P.S. - On the same topic we recently submitted a paper to HESSD:

    Rigon, Riccardo, Giuseppe Formetta, Marialaura Bancheri, Niccolò Tubini, Concetta D’Amato, Olaf David, and Christian Massari. 2022. “HESS Opinions: Participatory Digital Earth Twin Hydrology Systems (DARTHs) for Everyone: A Blueprint for Hydrologists.” Hydrology and Earth System Sciences Discussions, 1–38.  Updated manuscript here

    Thursday, August 4, 2022

    Nobody applied to this call ! Hydrology needs people willing to work on digital hydrology either computer scientists, physicists, mathematicians and, yes, hydrologists

    The call is the one below and nobody applied to the call. I am willing to try to get a new call for it but this time I hope that someone show up with the appropriate background and, above all, the appropriate will.  


    Ph.D. position on building a Digital eArth Twin of Hydrology  (DARTHs)

    Reference persons: Riccardo Rigon (
    Website of the call: (further information coming soon on the site)

    We are seeking for a pro-active individual either with a degree in environmental engineering, physics, mathematics with the will to work on the informatics infrastructure of the GEOframe/OMS3 system or someone with a degree in Informatics or Computer Science willing to mix their knowledge with the needs of Hydrology and Earth System Sciences in order to provide services to computer modelling and forecasting of hydrological quantities. The system being developed is being applied to the Po river catchments for the forecasting of droughts and the assessment of water availability and will be subsequently extended to the whole Italy.
    The starting point is the project currently being developed at the basin Authority of river Po and will be based on the informatics of the GEOframe/OMS3/CSIP (Object Modelling System/Cloud Service integration platform).
    The duties and the scope of the PhD work could vary according to the candidate background and attitude and can include: improvements of the workflows of the platform towards the direction to obtain a DARTH, improving the parallelism of computation in the cloud (by modifying OMS3/CSIP or using other tools like Airflow and Kubernetes), providing visual AR/VR interfaces to the workflow, cleaning the entire platform and evolve it.

    In this project imagination and willing to challenge theirselves comes before than any already acquired knowledge.

    The Ph.D. will be in an international context which include the participation of Colorado State University (dr. Olaf David) for OMS3/CSIP, Pisa University (dr. Marco Danelutto) for parallel computing, University of Saskatchewan (dr. Martyn Clark and dr. Wouter Knoben) for shared workflow and ourselves in Trento (dr. Riccardo Rigon, dr. Giuseppe Formetta, dr. Niccolò Tubini). We do not exclude the possibility to open further collaboration with colleagues of the University of Trento or the Trentino Research System. Besides the work will be in strict contact with the Po river basin authority for which the infrastructure will be deployed. The candidate is assumed to spend at least 6 months in Colorado State University and 6 months at the Po river basin Authority.
    The interested candidate are invited to contact dr. Riccardo Rigon at The official call is at
    For who interested in deepening the knowledge about the Digital eArth Twins of Hydrology (DARTH) a concept paper was written for Hydrology and Earth System Science and can be found here.
    The infrastructure built will be open source, built with open-source tools, openly documented by using literate programming and literate computing workflows. It will also makes it easier to share public open data, and, at the same time, getting their elaboration back. FAIR principles are already at the core of the existing infrastructure, as it can be deduced from and

    I understand that the topic is challenging and needs an environmental engineer (she, he, they) who like informatics or a computer scientist who likes to work outside traditional computer science topics. Or a physicist or a mathematician (originally I graduated in Physics, for instance).  But I think the work is very exciting, unique but, at the same time, opening job perspective everywhere in the environmental field. So please who is interested write to me. This call was not  considered a good one but hydrological science cannot move on without this kind of persons.