Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 649-671, 2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review article
19 Feb 2014
Advancing catchment hydrology to deal with predictions under change
U. Ehret1, H. V. Gupta2, M. Sivapalan3, S. V. Weijs4, S. J. Schymanski5, G. Blöschl6, A. N. Gelfan7, C. Harman8, A. Kleidon9, T. A. Bogaard10, D. Wang11, T. Wagener12, U. Scherer1, E. Zehe1, M. F. P. Bierkens13, G. Di Baldassarre14, J. Parajka6, L. P. H. van Beek13, A. van Griensven15, M. C. Westhoff1, and H. C. Winsemius16 1Institute of Water Resources and River Basin Management, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany
2Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA
3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA
4School of Architecture Civil and Environmental Engineering, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – EPFL Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
5ETH Zürich, Inst Terr Ecosyst, Soil & Terr Environm Phys STEP, Zurich, Switzerland
6Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
7Water Problem Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
8Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
9Max-Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany
10Department of Water Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands
11Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, USA
12Department of Civil Engineering, Queen's School of Engineering, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
13Department of Physical Geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, the Netherlands
14Department of Hydroinformatics and Knowledge Management, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands
15Department of Water Science and Engineering, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Delft, the Netherlands
16Deltares, Utrecht, the Netherlands
Abstract. Throughout its historical development, hydrology as an earth science, but especially as a problem-centred engineering discipline has largely relied (quite successfully) on the assumption of stationarity. This includes assuming time invariance of boundary conditions such as climate, system configurations such as land use, topography and morphology, and dynamics such as flow regimes and flood recurrence at different spatio-temporal aggregation scales. The justification for this assumption was often that when compared with the temporal, spatial, or topical extent of the questions posed to hydrology, such conditions could indeed be considered stationary, and therefore the neglect of certain long-term non-stationarities or feedback effects (even if they were known) would not introduce a large error.

Citation: Ehret, U., Gupta, H. V., Sivapalan, M., Weijs, S. V., Schymanski, S. J., Blöschl, G., Gelfan, A. N., Harman, C., Kleidon, A., Bogaard, T. A., Wang, D., Wagener, T., Scherer, U., Zehe, E., Bierkens, M. F. P., Di Baldassarre, G., Parajka, J., van Beek, L. P. H., van Griensven, A., Westhoff, M. C., and Winsemius, H. C.: Advancing catchment hydrology to deal with predictions under change, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 649-671,, 2014.
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