Welcome to the pages of the Earth Surface Hydrology group at Utrecht University. Our group was established in 2002. We are part of the Department of Physical Geography , one of the four departments of the Faculty of Geosciences.
Earth Surface Hydrology is concerned with the study of hydrological processes near and on the earth surface. It focuses on the flow of water, nutrients and energy between the earth surface and the subsoil and between the earth surface and the atmosphere. It aims to quantify how rainfall is portioned into infiltration, evaporation and runoff, and how nutrients in the soil and the earth surface are distributed through the landscape through surface runoff and groundwater flow.
Our research focuses on three major themes: 1) Large-scale hydrology, including the global hydrological model PCR-GLOBWB (link to global hydrology site); 2) Ecohydrology and eco-geomorphology; 3) Geocomputation. Check out our Research pages for more information.
We are responsible for two MSc programs: Earth Surface and Water, in particular the track Hydrology and a new program called Water Science and Management. Look under Education to find out more about courses taught by our group.
Thank you for your interest,
Chair in Earth Surface Hydrology
We published a paper in Nature projecting that under a 1.5 degree warming, as agreed upon under the Paris Agreement, the glaciers in High Mountain Asia will have lost about 35% of their mass. Under more realistic climate scenarios the mass loss could add up to 65%, with dire consequences for people that depend on the melt water runoff of the Asian rivers.
A full-text access to a view-only version of our paper can be found with the following link!
Also see the News and Views about our paper by Graham Cogley
First author Philip Kraaijenbrink has made a nice visual story line of the study.
Some good press coverage: Carbon Brief The Guardian
In a new study by Ted Veldkamp (VU Amsterdam), Yoshi Wada et al. that appeared in Nature Communications it is shown, by using a multi-model ensemble from ISI-MIP 2a (PCR-GLOBWB among these), that human interventions in the global water system may decrease water scarcity upstream while aggravating water scarcity downstream.
The link to the paper can be found here!
Former members of our group Yoshihide Wada and Niko Wanders were involved in new high impact publications using PCR-GLOBWB:
Yoshi was co-author on a paper in Nature assessing how groundwater depletion is embedded in international food trade. See this link for a nice BBC news item.
Both Niko and Yoshi were involved in a GRL paper looking how water management can both mitigate and intensify hydrological drought. The PNAS website had a nice item about this work.
We are happy to announce that Inge de Graaf published a paper about our newly-developed global two-layer transient groundwater model. This version is coupled one-way with the global hydrology and water resources model PCR-GLOBWB. A newer version also has a two-way (at time-step) coupling with PCR-GLOBWB and will be reported on shortly. You can find the paper here!
Furthermore, Yoshihide Wada (vice-director Water at IIASA and senior research associate at UU) and colleagues published a new paper in Nature Geoscience in which they show from analyses of satellite and local well data spanning the past decade that long-term changes in monsoon precipitation are driving groundwater storage variability in most parts of India either directly by changing recharge or indirectly by changing abstraction.
Marc Bierkens has been elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
Citation: For contributions in understanding hydrological
processes across scales and the modeling
and analysis of climate change and human water use
on global groundwater stocks.
He will be honored at the current AGU General assembly.
See also this announcement or this issue EOS magazine!
Members of our group (and former members) are presenting their work at AGU.
The dates, times and titles of their presentations can be found here!
Inge de Graaf his defending her PhD thesis entitled “Limits to global groundwater consumption” on April 1 2016.
See also this UU link!
Worldwide economic losses from river flooding could increase 20-fold by the end of the 21st century if no further actions on flood risk reduction are taken. Over 70% of this increase can be attributed to economic growth in flood prone areas
This follows from a recent study by a Dutch consortium that includes our research group.
See the study in Nature Climate Change!
Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-12-climate-main-prone-areas.html#jCp
Marc Bierkens contributed the paper entitled “Global hydrology 2015: state, trends and directions” to the 50th anniversary of Water Resources Research special collection issue. The papers in this issue are freely downloadable!
Note this nice article in Desert Sun and USA Today that highlights our past work on global groundwater depletion and sea-level rise.