Helmholtz Water Network


Model Intercomparison Workshop 2013:

The Workshop in June 2013 in Berlin was devoted to discuss the following challenge: Complex water resources management problems (e.g. water allocation under scarce water conditions or water quality deterioration from intensive agriculture, etc.) require predictive tools for modeling of water and solute fluxes up to entire catchments. One of the main challenges is that landscape properties and climatic inputs are strongly heterogeneous in space and time. The complexity of a model can be judged in terms of both the physical processes, that are represented in the model, and the spatial resolution of the grid on which the equations are solved. The on-going controversy in the literature is divided between two different spatially distributed modeling approaches in hydrology - the complex hyper-resolution (“physics based”) modeling versus the more simplistic (“conceptual”) spatially distributed modeling (Wood at al., 2010; Cloke and Beven, 2011). Both types of spatially distributed hydrological models require large computational resources and so trade-offs emerge: Should we invest in more complex models or in larger ensembles of models to improve hydrological predictions?

As a result of the discussions and meetings at the workshop the participants have expressed their interest in participating on a joint effort to rigorously identify and analyze the uncertainty of the predictions made using spatially distributed hydrological models of different model complexity. In the first phase for this model intercomparison the participants will concentrate on model complexity in terms of spatial and temporal model resolution. Also a test of the model accuracy for different computational grid resolutions and scaled model parameters (forward mode) and to assess the robustness of model parametrization towards spatial scaling effects (inverse mode) is planned. The UFZ will start to set-up at the playground for the model intercomparison by preparing the data basis provided from different long-term hydrologocal observatories such as the TERENO observatory (Germany) or the HOBE observatory (Denmark).

SFB Aquadiva

The new Collaborative Research Centre "AquaDiva:Understanding the links between surface and subsurface biogeosphere" will focus on the interactions of surface biosphere and the role of uninvestigated subsurface organisms. The Collaborative Research Centre will react to this research deficit.

The CRC AquaDiva will focus on the important roles of water (Aqua) and biodiversity (Diva) for shaping the structure, properties and functions of the subsurface, the part of the Earth‘s Critical Zone that begins below the highest density of plant roots and extends down into the first aquifers. The Collaborative Research Centre seeks to answer fundamental questions about the subsurface: What biota live there? How do they interact with and reflect their environment? And how do they reflect surface properties? Answers to these fundamental questions are required to understand how increasing human activities impact this zone, and in turn the services it provides.

Coordination: Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Speaker: Prof. Dr. Kirsten Küsel

Within a close collaboration with the Friedrich-Schiller-University the UFZ contributes to 4 projects of the Collaborative Research Centre including hydrologic modeling, biodiversity, microbiology and proteomics.

More information: http://www.aquadiva.uni-jena.de/

International Project on "Water availability for ungauged rivers"

The proposal for an International networking initiative on "Water availability for ungauged rivers: an integrative, multi-model approach to estimate water availability at ungauged rivers across the United States" was successful!

The project focus is on the increasing attention placed on the need for water availability information at ungauged locations, particularly related to balancing human and ecological needs for water. Critical to assessing water availability is the necessity for daily streamflow time series; however, most of the rivers in the United States are ungauged. This proposal leverages over $1M currently allocated to the USGS National Water Census Program towards developing an integrated modeling approach to estimate daily streamflow at ungauged locations, with the ultimate goal of providing daily streamflow estimates at 160,000 ungauged catchments across the United States.

By assembling a diverse and prolific group of international scientists, this proposal advances the science of watershed modeling and prediction in ungauged basins through use of novel and robust model calibration approaches.

Proposed Start and End: December 2013 – August 2015
Project leader: Stacey A. Archfield , USGS New England Water Science Center, Northborough, MA 01532


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07.-09.06.2017: International ICLEA Symposium „Climate Change and Landscape Evolution in North Central Europe“ (GFZ)

04.-18.8.2017 CAWR International Summer School "Network functional dynamics -
Technological, Human & Ecological Dimensions

Direct links:


Dr. Christiane Katterfeld
Phone: +49 391 8109101