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Person# Ludovico Nicotina

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Hydrology

Hydrology () is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and management of water on Earth and other planets, including the water cycle, water resources, and drainage basin sustainability.

Geomorphology

Geomorphology (from Ancient Greek: γῆ, gê, "earth"; μορφή, morphḗ, "form"; and λόγος, lógos, "study") is the scientific study of the origin and evolution of topographic and bathymetric features cre

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Enrico Bertuzzo, Pierfrancesco Da Ronco, Cédric Imfeld, Ludovico Nicotina, Andrea Rinaldo, Bettina Schaefli

Abstract. This paper presents the Spatially Explicit Hydrologic Response (SEHR) model developed at the Laboratory of Ecohydrology of the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne for the simulation of hydrological processes at the catchment scale. The key concept of the model is the formulation of water transport by geomorphologic travel time distributions through gravity-driven transitions among geomorphic states: the mobilization of water (and possibly dissolved solutes) is simulated at the subcatchment scale and the resulting responses are convolved with the travel paths distribution within the river network to obtain the hydrologic response at the catchment outlet. The model thus breaks down the complexity of the hydrologic response into an explicit geomorphological combination of dominant spatial patterns of precipitation input and of hydrologic process controls. Nonstationarity and nonlinearity effects are tackled through soil moisture dynamics in the active soil layer. We present here the basic model set-up for precipitation–runoff simulation and a detailed discussion of its parameter estimation and of its performance for the Dischma River (Switzerland), a snow-dominated catchment with a small glacier cover.

2014Enrico Bertuzzo, Serena Ceola, Raphaël Mutzner, Ludovico Nicotina, Marc Parlange, Andrea Rinaldo, Steven Vincent Weijs

Recession flow analysis are crucial in many areas of water resource management and useful to forecast base flow in gauged rivers. Moving from a classical recession curve analysis method, a large set of recession curves has been analyzed from Swiss streamflow data of 27 watersheds. For these catchments, digital elevation models have been precisely analyzed and a method aimed at the geomorphic origins of recession curves has been applied to the Swiss dataset. The method links river network morphology, epitomized by time-varying distribution of contributing channel sites, with the classic parametrization of recession events. This is done by assimilating two scaling exponents, and bG, with |dQ/dt|Q where Q is at-a-station gauged flow rate and N(l) G(l)bG where l is the downstream distance from the channel heads receding in time at constant speed c, N(l) is the number of draining channel reaches located at distance l from their heads, and G(l) is the total drainage network length at a distance greater or equal to l. We find that the method provides good results in catchments where drainage density can be regarded as spatially constant. We propose several corrections to the method accounting for arbitrary local drainage densities affecting the local drainage inflow per unit channel length. In particular, we relax the assumption of uniform constant speed c. Such corrections properly vanish when the local drainage density become spatially constant. Overall, definite geomorphic signatures are recognizable for recession curves. In general, we suggest that this conceptual model might be useful to estimate the low flow regime of natural ungauged basins by predicting its features solely from information remotely acquired and objectively manipulated through DEM data.

2013Enrico Bertuzzo, Serena Ceola, Raphaël Mutzner, Ludovico Nicotina, Marc Parlange, Andrea Rinaldo, Nevena Tomasic, Steven Vincent Weijs

This paper addresses the signatures of catchment geomorphology on base flow recession curves. Its relevance relates to the implied predictability of base flow features, which are central to catchment-scale transport processes and to ecohydrological function. Moving from the classical recession curve analysis method, originally applied in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, a large set of recession curves has been analyzed from Swiss streamflow data. For these catchments, digital elevation models have been precisely analyzed and a method aimed at the geomorphic origins of recession curves has been applied to the Swiss data set. The method links river network morphology, epitomized by time-varying distribution of contributing channel sites, with the classic parameterization of recession events. This is done by assimilating two scaling exponents, and b(G), with |dQ/dt| Q where Q is at-a-station gauged flow rate and N(l) N(l)G(l)bG where l is the downstream distance from the channel heads receding in time, N(l) is the number of draining channel reaches located at distance l from their heads, and G(l) is the total drainage network length at a distance greater or equal to l, the active drainage network. We find that the method provides good results in catchments where drainage density can be regarded as spatially constant. A correction to the method is proposed which accounts for arbitrary local drainage densities affecting the local drainage inflow per unit channel length. Such corrections properly vanish when the drainage density become spatially constant. Overall, definite geomorphic signatures are recognizable for recession curves, with notable theoretical and practical implications.