Saturday, January 21, 2023

One year position (hopefully extensible to two or three years) for working on the Po Project is open until January 31st.

One year position (hopefully extensible to two or three years)  for working on the Po Project is open at the University of Trento, Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical Engineering. Information about the project can be found at:

We search  for a skilled candidate able to boost the work on the project and eventually start  new researchers among the various challenging research lines which were better defined in the so called DARTH4MED project:

PI of the Project are Riccardo Rigon ( and Giuseppe Formetta ( Please do not hesitate to ask for information and clarifications and note that we encourage to apply also to students who do not have yet discussed their Ph.D. Thesis.

The call details are at:

The net salary is around 1700 Euro/Months. Other submitted projects, including the already mentioned DARTH4MED are synergic to the this project and they could provide further financial support for the next years. An ideal reference for the framework used in the project is the paper on Digital eARth Twins of Hydrology (DARTHs) recently published on HESS

To the potential applicants:

Please observe that the use of our system GEOframe is mandatory for that project. After January 31 we will be evaluating the submission. For incoming possible postdoc, I wrote this

Please observe that you are a little late but you can browse our Winter School on GEOframe to understand what we require. 

Monday, January 16, 2023

A Commentary on transit (travel) times theory

We were recently to  produce a commentary on a review paper by Benettin et al. 2022. The preprint of the paper is here below clicking on the Figure. 

The understating of the dynamics of tracers and water transit times at catchment scale has increasingly grown in the last decades, becoming a consolidated approach in the field of hydrological and ecohydrological research. Recently, a benchmark contribution has been given in the work by Benettin et al., 2022, which reviews the state of art on the topic, also addressing present and future challenge, pointing out some open questions in transit time research. This commentary tries to contextualize the above article, highlighting the most focal points and relating it to a broader context in the field. A brief overview on the main concepts of backward transit times, StorAge selection functions and forward transit time distributions is given in a logical-historical order, giving to the reader the primary instruments for a later comprehensive understating of the Transit Time Theory. Eventually, a numerical example helps to clarify the above concepts in a very simple and effective way. 


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).

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Hydrological CVs and Research

 It happens to me, but I suppose the same happens to most of my colleagues to receive many CV, especially from excellent guys developing countries. Some of them are remarkable but they usually do not  meet my requirements. What is the problem ? They are clearly very motivated and smart persons. However there is a constant in their backgrounds. They were trained in using models like HEC-RAS-HMS or SWAT or even MODFLOW and they wrote papers about case studies (regional studies they call them now).  This is not bad at all obviously and that “standard knowledge” should be part of any robust professional. There are other two variations the CVs: the use of machine learning techniques (under standard frameworks) to infer something or the use of Earth observation "products" to extract something of information (often without ground check). Sometimes their work is valuable and again, how can we say that they should not be part of the professional CV ?

However all of this has just a little to do with the research gold medal which stand in investigating processes, learning from them, disentangling their feedbacks, implementing new tools. Their trying to do something new remains within the very limited scope which is allowed by something built by others and not open to modifications and evolutions.  That's what I would like to see instead: these solid bases but also a little spark that try to go out for this standard comfort zone. 

For my critics, it is true that I push my activities  to the extreme, to the point that all discusses, not only processes, but also tools, the way to build them, the way to share them with others. It is true that, it can be seen as an act of high presumption, which prepares, for normal people like me, to a destiny of failures, low productivity and frustration, far away out of the highways of the industrial success of some paradigms.  Then if you do not have to imitate me to the limit, at least take the good of my perspective and do not stay still in a cycle which all renews for nothing change.