Hydroinformatics: Software development for soil and aquifer system analysis

Significant advances in water research and new observational and computational capabilities and infrastructures (e.g. MOSES, TERENO, VISLAB, JUWELS) provide the opportunity to develop next generation of smart, data- and model-driven water monitoring systems. The software tools we develop are designed to support scientists worldwide in the analysis of larger and more complex systems and to enable the exploration of hydrological extreme scenarios and their effects. Modules&Interfaces&Products
The ENVINF-Hydroinformatic developer group focuses on method and software development for the process-based modelling and parameterization of coupled surface, soil and groundwater systems, as well as the transport of dissolved substances, flow with variable density, or mechanical changes in aquifer systems due to changing environmental impacts. Our work supports various scientific projects and research initiatives, many of them with a strong focus on process and software coupling as for example within LandTrans, LISA and TiM4Water.
As a numerical tool for the simulation and prediction of groundwater conditions and interactions we use OpenGeoSys, a multi-physics code for porous media which is used in numerous THMC applications. Originally developed from Rockflow, OGS-6 now has a modular structure and provides a robust open-source framework (OGS) for the integration of additional simulation capabilities that build on and extend the numerical kernel.

OpenGeoSys Software and Tools

Most of the software packages and digital tools developed by us are freely available and Open Source, and we thank the UFZ for the support of Open Data and Open Software.

The open source platform OpenGeoSys.org, which is currently being organized at the Department of Environmental Informatics of the UFZ, plays a central role in our development. OpenGeoSys is also our most used simulation tool for the system analysis of hydrogeosystems. Many methods are implemented in this platform and we benefit from the quality control and automatic benchmarking provided by the OGS core development team. A large part of the methods and products developed by us can therefore be found as downloads for different operating systems inside the OpenGeoSys Software Packages offered for download:

OpenGeoSys Official Releases and Nightly Builds


or get directly the Open Source Code from GitLab 



More Tools and Code Snippets:

Almost all of our workgroup members have their own GitLab/GitHub environments or share their developments on other open git projects. We will provide the corresponding information or links to better connect you with their developments here soon.

Thomas Kalbacher Dr. Thomas Kalbacher

Dr. Thomas Kalbacher is the head of the work group Hydroinformatics and deputy head of the department of Environmental Informatics. He received his PhD at the Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, for his work on object-oriented software development for geometric modeling of complex hydrogeological systems. His PhD was awarded with a two year Alexander v. Humboldt / JSPS Research Fellowship, which he spent as researcher and lecturer at the Okayama University in Japan. Project He is a staff member of the department since 2009 and his research interests include computational environmental system analysis with focus on software and digital workflow development for numerical high performance simulations of water quantity and quality in heterogeneous subsurface. His work is directly related to the investigation of the impact of climate change and hydrologic extremes on soil water and groundwater dynamics and the development model-driven monitoring concepts.

Thomas Fischer Dr. Thomas Fischer

Dr. Thomas Fischer has been working as a scientific software developer at the Department of Environmental Informatics since 2010. He studied computer science from 1997-2003 at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. He has been working as a software developer from 2003-2005 in several projects. In 2005 he joined the group of numerical mathematics at the University of Leipzig and worked on preconditioning methods for large sparse systems of linear equations. He received his Phd for developing a purely algebraic based preconditioner. As one of the core developers of OpenGeoSys his research interest are related to robust and efficient numerical software and high performance computing.

Afid Nur Kholis Afid Nur Kholis

Afid Nur Kholis is a PhD student at the UFZ and will graduate in 2023 within the LISA project. He holds a B.Sc. in Environmental Geography from Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia, and an M.Sc. in Applied and Environmental Geosciences from the University of Tübingen, Germany. His research focuses on complex dynamics of groundwater and modeling of surface hydrology. As part of the LISA PhD program, he is developing a new interactive interface between the saturated (groundwater) and unsaturated (soil moisture) zones that allows bidirectional coupling and seamless parameterization across different scales. The developed bidirectional coupling methods will be implemented in the OGS and/or mHM models and will provide a more realistic representation of the hydrological cycle for predicting the effects of climate change.

Former Members

Post Docs, PhD Students, Master & Bachelor Students

Dr. Jasper Bathmann Linkedin

Dr. Martin Binder Linkedin

Dr. Johannes Boog ResearchGate

Dr. Christian Engelmann Linkedin

Marco Hannemann ResearchGate

Dr. Wenkui He Linkedin

B.Sc. Joshua Heipel

Dr. Eunseon Jang Linkedin

Ching Yin Kwok Linkedin

Dr. Fabien Magri ResearchGate

Dr. Erik Nixdorf GoogleScholar

M.Sc. Oliver Petschick Linkedin

Dr. Agnes Sachse Linkedin

M.Sc. Philipp Schad Linkedin

Dr. Marc Walther  TUDresden

Dr. Yan Zhou Linkedin