The Hydrological Modelling Class 2022 – The Schedule



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  • Michele Vettorazzi, Environmental Engineer and Photographer

2022-02-24 – I  – Syllabus – Introduction 2 Hydrological Modelling 

Here  I introduced the class. Its learning by doing philosophy (altered by the necessity due to COVID-19 times that impose to do first the all the theoretical parts and subsequently all the practical parts hoping that they can be done in presence). 

  • The real start  (Vimeo 2021)
  • Prerequistes  (Vimeo 2021)
  • The Topics (from a general point of view) (Vimeo Video 2020, Vimeo 2021)
  • Methods (Vimeo2021)
  • How you will be graded  (Vimeo 2021)
  • Catchments and related issues
  • Please give a brief look here at the poll about the Prerequisites. 

2022-02-25 – II – Discussion of previous lesson topics. Summary of the lecture in Italian. (This will be always done, each lesson, but for now on omitted). The rational of introducing these concepts  is that catchments are spatially extended and in this course we are interested to deal with catchments hydrology. 

In this first part we deal with the geometrical (differential) characteristics of the topography. Elevations, slopes, curvatures. They will be necessary later to extract the river network and the parts of a catchment.
  • Introduction to Geomorphometry I (Storyboard 2020 della lezione, I):
    • A little of vocabulary (Vimeo 2021)
    • DEMs sources (from Wikipedia). Slide. Local  and other sources of data:
      • Provincia di Trento
      • Provincia di Bolzano
      • Geoportale Nazionale
      • A short Vimeo Video (2021)
      • A short YouTubeVideo (2020)
    • The basics of DEM analysis (Vimeo2021, YouTube video 2019,YouTube2020, Sintesi in Italiano 2020)
2022-03-03- Geomorphometry – II 

In this class we define what the drainage directions are and how they are computed in the case of DEMs (a topography discretized over a regular grid).  From drainage directions are determined the total contributing areas in each point of  a DEM. These two characteristics are eventually used to determine  the channels head and extract the river networkIn turn, the extraction of the channel network allows for the extraction of hillslope and a first definition of  the Hydrologic Response Units (HRU). 
  • Hydrogeomorphology: the derived quantities, drainage directions and contributing areas (Vimeo2021, YouTube video 2019,YouTube2020, Sintesi in Italiano 2020)
    • On the estimation of tangential stresses in a curved topography (Whiteboard 2020)
    • References for who wants to go deeper
      • Peckham, R. J., and G. Jordan. 2007. Digital Terrain Modelling: Development and Applications in a Policy Support Environment. Edited by Robert Joseph Peckham and Gyozo Jordan. New York: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. Lecture Notes In Geoinformation and Cartography.
  • A Storyboard Italian regarding the geomorphic laws
  • Where do channels begin: Extracting channels and hillslope (Vimeo2021, YouTubeVideo 2020 b, Sintesi in Italiano 2020)
    • Old but useful material: extracting the hillslope (YouTube Video 2019,YouTube2020)
  • A brief overview about geomorphic laws regarding the river networks and catchments. (Vimeo 2021)
  • Additional information and references
    • Part of the above but presented in a different way. Topological classification of catchments elements: 
      • Horton-Strahler Ordering (Whiteboard2020); 
      • Pfafstetter (Whiteboard2020; an alternative presentation here) and 
      • other ordering schemes (Whiteboard 2020 here).
    • Rigon, Riccardo, Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, Amos Maritan, Achille Giacometti, David G. Tarboton, and Andrea Rinaldo. 1996. “On Hack’s Law.” Water Resources Research 32 (11): 3367–74.
    • Detecting the human landscape (please try to read and summarize the main concepts): Cao, Wenfang, Giulia Sofia, and Paolo Tarolli. 2020. “Geomorphometric Characterisation of Natural and Anthropogenic Land Covers.” Progress in Earth and Planetary Science 7 (1): 2.
  • Other references:
    • Older classes in Italian 
    • Geomorphology with References
    • Various information from the AboutHydrology Blog
    • R.Rigon, E. Ghesla, C. Tiso and A. Cozzini, The Horton Machine, pg. viii, 136, ISBN 10:88-8443-147-6, University of Trento, 2006
    • W. Abera, A. Antonello, S. Franceschi, G. Formetta, R Rigon , “The uDig Spatial Toolbox for hydro-geomorphic analysis” in Geomorphological Techniques, v. 4, n. 1 (2014), p. 1-19
Q&A – Multiple choice questions about Geomorphology

2022-03-04 –  Interpolations 

This lecture, assuming that now you have at least the concepts of what a catchment is and theoretically you know how to extract it and subdivide it in parts, deals with the data to feed catchments hydrology models. Because catchments have a spatial distribution, then also the driving data must be distributed. We need therefore methods of interpolation. 
  • Hydrological data (Storyboard2020 in Italian)
  • To which data are we interested in and where can we find them ? (This one is a storyboard in English)
  • Ground data and their interpolation (Vimeo 2021,  Zoom2020)
    • Thiessen Polygons (Storyboard2020 in Italian)
    • Inverse distance Weighting (Storyboard 2020 in Italian)
  • Introduction to Kriging Theory:
    • Summary (Vimeo 2021)
    • Building the system to solve ( Storyboard 2020), the Kriging’s equations (YouTube2019, Vimeo 2021, YouTube2020, Zoom2020)
    • Variography (Storyboard 2020, YouTube video 2019, YouTubeVideo2020, YouTube2020b, Vimeo 2021)
2022-03-10 –  Interpolations part II. 

In this class we try to understand how to estimate the errors over the estimates. Besides we introduce a method (the Normal Score) to avoid to obtain negative values when positive interpolated values are required.
    • Catching the errors of estimates (Storyboard2020 in Italian, Zoom2020)
    • Flow chart and Various types of Kriging (Storyboard in Italian 2020, Zoom2020)
    • The Normal score 
  • Additional material: 
    • Old videos and Material in Italian
    • Rainfall and Temperature interpolation for hydrologist.
  • References:
    • Marialaura Bancheri, Francesco Serafin, Michele Bottazzi, Wuletawu Abera, Giuseppe Formetta, and Riccardo Rigon, The design, deployment, and testing of kriging models in GEOframe with SIK-0.9.8, Geosci. Model Dev., 11, 2189–2207, 2018
    • Andràs Bardossy, Introduction to Geostatistics, year unknown.
    • Goovaerts, P. (1997). Geostatistics for Natural Resources Evaluation (pp. 1–488). New York : Oxford University Press.
    • P.K. Kitanidis, Introduction to GEOstatistics, 1997
    • Mitas, Lubos, and Helena Mitasova. 1999. “Spatial Interpolation.” Geographical Information Systems: Principles, Techniques, Management and Applications 1 (2).
    • G. Raspa, Dispense di Geostatistica Applicata, Università di Roma 3, 2010
Q&A – Spatial Interpolation

2022-03-11 – Hydrological Models. This is a class about hydrological models, so what are they ?

The title is self-explanatory. A theoretical approach to modelling is necessary because we have to frame properly our action when we jump from the laws of physics to the laws of  hydrology. Making hydrology we do not have to forget physics but for getting usable models we have to do appropriate simplifications and distorsions. The type of model we will use in the course are those in the tradition are called lumped models. Here we also introduce a graphical tool to represent these models.

  • Today’s storyboard (here in Italian)
  • What are models (in Science) (Vimeo2021)
  • Hydrological models (Vimeo2021)
    • Old versions: What are models in Hydrology (YouTube2020, Zoom2020-I, A summary I, English version here)
  • Integral Distributed Model or Hydrological Dynamical Systems, HDSys (Zoom2020, Vimeo2021 )
  • The representation of Hydrological Dynamical System (Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
  • Further readings: a blogpost from EGU

2022-03-17 – Linear Models for HRUs

Once we have grasped the main general (and generic) ideas, we try to draw the simplest systems. They turn out to be analytically solvable, and we derive their solutions carefully. From the group of linear systems springs out the Nash model, whose derivation is performed.  Obviously, it remains the problem to understand how much the models can describe “reality”. However, this an issue we leave for future investigations.
  • The very simplest linear system (Vimeo2021)
    • Derivation of the solution of the linear reservoir (Whiteboard2021)
    • Same derivation as above but from a different source and treated in a general way
  • Getting new features to the linear systems (Vimeo2021)
  • The Nash model  (Vimeo2021)
    • Derivation of the Nash hydrograph (Whiteboard 2021)
2022-03-18 –  A little more on the IUH and looking at the variety of HDSys models

We introduced previously without very much digging into it the concept of Instantaneous Unit Hydrograph. Here we explain more deeply its properties, Then we observe that there are issues related to the partition of fluxes and we discuss some simple models for obtaining them. Not rocket science here. The concept that we need those tools is more important than the tools themselves. We also observe that linearity is not satisfactory and we give a reference to many non linear models. Finally we discuss an implementation of some of the discussed concepts in the System GEOframe. 
  • The storyboard
  • The IUH classic (Vimeo2021)
  • The issue of runoff generation, 
    • the SCS, (Vimeo2021)
    • the Hymod model (Vimeo2021)
  • MaRRmot survey of models (Vimeo2021)
In this class we also did some elaboration on DEM for extracting features, please see the Lab Class at the same day.
  • ERM-I (Vimeo2021-I, Vimeo2021-II)
  • ERM-II (Vimeo2021-I, Vimeo2021-II)
  • A summary of previous lectures 
  • Simplified snow models  (Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)
  • A little about models calibration
    • Generalities (Zoom2020,Vimeo2021)

2022-03-31 – A final view on Hydrological Dynamical Systems and their application to catchments.
  • Hypothesis testing in Hydrological Modelling with HDSys (At the whiteboard)
Equations for disease spreading (Out of schedule)
  • An unexpected candid way (for naive people like me) to model Covid-19 spreading (Whiteboard2020, Zoom2020)
  • But look how it is a more informed model s. 
  • Examples of Applications:
  • Posina Catchment
  • Blue Nile
  • Basilicata
2021-04-01 – Travel Time, Residence Time and Response Time

  • Here below we started a little series of lectures about a statistical way of seeing water movements in catchments. This view has a long history but recently had a closure with the work of Rinaldo, Botter and coworkers. Here it is presented an alternative vie to their concepts. Some passages could be of some difficulty but the gain in understanding the processes of fluxes formation at catchment scale is, in my view, of great value and deserves some effort.  The way of thinking is the following: a) the overall catchments fluxes are the sum of the movements of many small water volumes (molecules); b) the water of molecules can be seen through 3 distributions: the travel time distribution, the residence time distribution and the response time distributions; c) the relationships between these distributions are revealed; d) the relation of these distributions with the the treatment of the catchments made through ordinary differential equations is obtained through the definition of age ranked distributions; e) The theory this developed is a generalizations of the unit hydrograph theory. 
  • The view of the catchment as the statistics of elementary water volumes moving stochastically, a storyboard
  • Travel Time, Residence Times (Vimeo 2021-Ita, Vimeo 2021-Eng)
    • Some discussion (In English)
2021-04 -07
  • StorAge Selection functions (Vimeo 2021-It)
  • Response Times  (Vimeo 2021-Eng, Vimeo 2021-It)
    • A little of discussion (in English)
  • Q&A – A student asks and I respond on travel times (in Italian)
  • Q&A – Another session of explanations
  • Klicker session on Travel times, Residence Time, etc. (List of questions and answers by students, Zoom2020)

2022-04-08 –  After all radiation moves it all.

  •  Radiation (YouTube 2017). 
    • The Sun (YouTube 2017)
    • Stefan-Boltzmann law and radiation spectrum (YouTube 2017, Vimeo2021)
    • Sun  to Earth (YouTube 2017)
    • Coping with latitude and longitude (YouTube 2017,Vimeo2021)
    • Atmospheric Absorptions (YouTube 2017,Vimeo2021)
    • Clouds (YouTube 2017,Vimeo2021)
    • Coping with terrain (YouTube 2017,Vimeo2021)
    • Long wave radiation (YouTube 2017, Vimeo2021)
    • Table of symbols
    • Readings:
    • Corripio, J. G. (2002). Modelling the energy balance of high altitude glacierised basins in the Central Andes. Ph.D Dissertation, 1–175.
    • Corripio, J. G. (2003). Vectorial algebra algorithms for calculating terrain parameters from DEMs and solar radiation modelling in mountainous terrain. Int. J. Geographical Information Science, 17(1), 1–23. 
    • Formetta, G., Rigon, R., Chávez, J. L., & David O. (2013). Modeling shortwave solar radiation using the JGrass-NewAge system. Geoscientific Model Development, 6(4), 915–928. 
    • Formetta, G., Bancheri, M., David, O., & Rigon, R. (2016). Performance of site-specific parameterizations of longwave radiation. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 20(11), 4641–4654.
    • Various material from the AboutHydrology blog
  1. Q&A – Some questions on radiation, your answers and my comments.
  2. —————
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