Working group


Integrated Modelling and Optimization

Short description

The work of our group is focussed on the description of a) environmentally relevant landscape changes, and b) the impact of land use and management changes on water and matter balance and habitats. In addition, we also tackle methodological questions in modelling and simulation such as quantification and specification of scale dependencies in process description, uncertainty in data and models and optimization tools for derivation of management strategies. Our toolset of models covers process-based (for instance originating from system dynamics approaches), but also (partial) differential equation systems), HBV, SWAT, IHACRES, or multivariate regression models, geo-statistic models as well as agent-based model types.

Methodological focus

  • Data-based modelling approaches to identify parsimonious modelling approaches and to derive optimised monitoring strategies.
  • Modelling and simulation of feedbacks bases on problem-specific physically-based, empiric, statistic as well as rule-based modelling approaches. Thus we aim at a range of different model approaches that serve as a landscape modelling toolset.
  • For validation and process-driven model development a high standard of field monitoring techniques and data acquisition methodology is elementary.
  • Techniques of optimization and uncertainty analysis are used to test models, and derive and test management strategies.


Prof. Dr. Martin Volk

phone: ++49 341 235 1956
fax: ++49 341 235 1939

Dr. Michael Strauch

phone: ++49 341 235 1464
fax: ++49 341 235 1939

Publications (selection)


Peter Allen, Baylor University, TX, USA (SWAT-development, base flow and low flow estimation methods)

Jeff Arnold, USDA-ARS, Temple, TX, USA (SWAT-development)

David Bosch, USDA-ARS, Tifton, GA, USA (SWAT-development)

Barry Croke, Australian National University, Canberra, Australien (IHACRES-development)

Tony Jakeman, Australian National University, Canberra, Australien (IHACRES-development, iEMSs-co-operation)

State Agency for flood protection and water management Saxony-Anhalt (LHW)

Leo Lymburner, Geoscience Australia, Remote Sensing Sceince & Strategy (Application of remote sensing data, Linkage of remote sensing data and models)

Lachlan Newham, Australian National University, Canberra, Australien (Strategies for river basins analysis and assessmen)

Saxonian State Agency for the Environment, Agriculture and Geology(SLULG) and State Environmental Operation Agency fort he Environment, Agriculture and Geology (BfUL) in Brandis (databases, model development, model parametrisation, monitoring)

Sven Lautenbach, Institute for Geodesy and Geoinformation, University of Bonn

Jerry Whittaker Development of optimization algorithms, tradeoff analyses, indicator development

Related projects in our department (selection)

BMBF Weiße-Elster-Projekt

Products (data, methods, tools, models, software)

  • Rainfall-Runoff-Database for flood risk assessment
  • Model-GIS-Linkages (SAGA with IHACRES, GR4J or with a program for calculation of baseflow)
  • The Advanced Monitoring and Information System (AMIS)
  • Support of the development of the Soil and Water Assessment Tools (publicly available model of the USDA-ARS in Temple, TX, USA, SWAT) and development of tools for the pre-processing and derivation of model input data
  • ArcGis tools, analysis tools in R and C++
  • Optimization routines