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Dear Visitor,

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,

 

Marc Bierkens
Chair in Earth Surface Hydrology

Nature publication: the fate of Asia’s glaciers under 1.5 degree warming

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

PCR-GLOBWB and high impact papers: Yoshi and Niko strike again!

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.

 

 

Global two-layer transient groundwater model published (and more)

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.

Nature Climate Change: Global drivers of future flood risk

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