Research of the Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management Group

The main lines of the research programme, reflecting the current expertise of the research group, are (in no particular order):

  1. hydrometeorology;
  2. hydrogeology;
  3. environmental fluid mechanics;
  4. catchment and land surface hydrology.

The research of this group focuses on catchment-scale hydrological processes and river basin water management. With respect to hydrology special emphasis is put on the development of physically-based and conceptual models of surface and subsurface flow processes to examine the hydrological system and its component processes and to study the effects of climate change, land-use change and other human influences on the water balance of catchments. Spatial information technology, such as remote sensing and geographic information systems, are essential tools in this field.

To improve model calibration and validation procedures and to improve on-line and off-line simulation performance advanced (geo-)statistical data mining techniques are being studied and applied. Central in this research are mathematical tools, such as neural networks, non-linear optimization procedures, disaggregation techniques and data assimilation. The group uses these models and techniques to study floods and droughts in river basins. Another main theme of research is river hydraulics and morphology as an element of hydrological modeling and to support sustainable river and land management planning. Theoretical developments are tested in a fully-equipped Laboratory for Water and Sediment Dynamics  where model studies can be performed.

Field work in several research basins in the Netherlands (Hupselse beek, Cabauw, Noorbeek) and abroad (Indonesia, Germany, USA) supports hydrologic (hillslope and catchment-scale), hydrogeologic and hydraulic process studies, essential for the advancement of physically-based and conceptual catchment models, and the testing of new modeling and management algorithms.