conference

39th IAHR World Congress (Granada, Spain)

The 39th World Congress organized by the International Association for Hydro-Environmental Research (IAHR) was held last week in Granada (south Spain; see figure below, left). Adina Moraru (work package 2) has attended this biennial congress that included 98 oral regular sessions, 15 special sessions, 4 high-level panels, 8 technical visits, hundreds of posters on display (see figure below, right) several side events, workshops and master classes.

The week was packed with meetings of different IAHR committees and special sessions. Adina attended the so-called “Institutes Meeting”, a networking-oriented side event (see upper three photographs below) where several public and private research instutions were invited to present their research and diversity (upper-left: Ana Adeva-Bustos from SINTEF, Norway, upper-center: Cristina Anacabe from IHE-Delft, the Netherlands). Tom Soo, the executive director for IAHR attended the meeting (upper-right photograph) and initiated a brainstorm for future events. Another interesting special session was the “Review of the IAHR Green Paper: Towards practical flood assessment for development projects“, coordinated by Stefan Haun (head of the Hydraulic Lab. at University of Stuttgart, Germany; lower photograph below) with Alastair Barnett (HYDRA Software, New Zealand; lower photograph below) and James Ball (University of Technology Sydney, Australia) as authors of the paper and invited speakers.

The breaks and late evenings were reserved for networking events especially oriented to early careers. For instance, the John F. Kennedy Student Paper Competition held (see list of finalists in upper-left and upper-center figures below) before the Young Professionals Assembly and Young Professionals Night (upper-right photograph portraits some of the attendees to the latter networking event crossing Genil river). Adina (lower photograph, second from right to left in back row), as co-founder and president of IAHR Scandinavia Young Professionals Network (founded in late 2020), got a VIP invitation to the Young Professionals Night. During the evening, a Kahoot competition was arranged by the local YPN, IAHR Spain YPN, and prizes were handed to the winners (lower photograph: the 1st prize was handed to Markus Bähner, a friendly master student from TUM in Germany).

The oral presentations were grouped in themes, and Adina attended the ones focused on Computational and Experimental Methods and, of course, Extreme Events: from Droughts to Floods (see photographs below). Some highlights of these thematic sessions were presentations on the use of numerical models to investigate intermittent streams, i.e. small rivers that do not always contain flowing water, under increasingly pressing climate change conditions (left-hand figure: Prof. Michael Tritthart from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences BOKU, Vienna, Austria) or the recently developed drought prevention and management toolbox by the United Nations in collaboration with DHI (right-hand figure; UN Environment Programme-DHI Centre), which is supported by an openly available database and uses specific indicators to build an early warning system for droughts. The latter is very related to Adina‘s previous work on indicators controlling river channel erosion during flash floods (conference paper), as well as on the identification of critical points in steep rivers using numerical modelling (conference paper) for a better and faster flood modelling. She went home very pleased and excited!

Finally, the Congress Gala (upper-left and lower-center photographs) and Closing Ceremony ended the 39th IAHR World Congress. The Congress Gala was held at the Parque de las Ciencias, where they carry out scientific dissemination, and a delightful flamenco show entertained the attendees (upper-left photograph). So what’s next? The Young Professionals Assembly held earlier in the week brought up forthcoming activities for early careers (upper-right photograph), and several YPNs will arrange these activities to help their members learn and network. Some of the IAHR Scandinavia Young Professionals Network board attended these events (lower-center, from left to right: Slaven Conevski, co-founder and secretary for IAHR Scandinavia YPN, and Adina Moraru, co-founder and president for IAHR Scandinavia YPN) and will take part in future initiatives. Although this congress is held biennially, as the 39th IAHR World Congress was delayed 1 year due to the pandemic, the 40th IAHR World Congress will take place in August 2023 in Vienna, Austria, right in schedule.

From left to right: Slaven Conevski (Secretary for IAHR Scandinavia YPN), Adina Moraru (president for IAHR Scandinavia YPN), Théo Dezert (posdoc at NTNU) & Geir Helge Kiplesund (PhD candidate at NTNU)
Flood

Editor’s choice awarded to flash flood journal article

Flash news! Adina Moraru and Michal Pavlíček’s (work package 2) recently published journal article has been awarded the category of “Editor’s Choice“! (see snapshot below) What article, do you mean? We wrote a post about it as soon as the manuscript came out with some of its highlights (see a sneak peek in the figure below), if you’re curious. This is an honor and great news for World of Wild Waters. Now, how does this work?

The manuscript is public and open to access here. No need to be subscribed anywhere.

Editor’s Choice articles are based on recommendations by the scientific editors of journals from around the world, in this case Water (Switzerland). Editors select a small number of articles recently published in the journal that they believe will be particularly interesting to authors, or important in this field. The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the various research areas of the journal.”, writes on the publishing journal’s website.

In short, this means that:

  1. The article get’s a blue-colored label (see snapshot above) that helps identify Adina and Michal’s manuscript as high quality.
  2. Also, Water (Swizterland) has a section where all the Editor’s Choice articles are collected for the readers, and this increases the likelihood that the manuscript is visited and read by the journal readers.
  3. Last, but not least, it’s a badge of honor to receive the validation and “stamp of approval” of scientific editors, especially so early in our careers (this is Adina‘s first ever published journal manuscript).
The journal article tells the story of Storelva in Utvik (western Norway), how it flooded in 2017 and the information we got in the field and via remote sensing to understand afterwards what happened. This is the location figure in the article available here.
ADPC in Utvik Flood

Reconnaissance fieldtrips during late Autumn

After a considerable long period without fieldtrips due to the SARS-CoV-2, and just before a new wave hit us all, WoWW sought for calibration and validation data for its hydraulic numerical models. Although the likelihood of flooding decreases considerably during the cold Norwegian Autumn, Oddbjørn, Michal and Adina visited two mountainous localities, namely Oppdal in Central Norway and Stryn in West Norway.

Vekveselva river (in Oppdal) has a step-pool morphology and a steep slope, which makes it very attractive from the hydraulic and geomorphological perspectives, as this makes the river and valley susceptible to both floods and landslides. The weather was cloudy and slightly windy and snow has started to accumulate in the last few weeks (see the first gallery of photos below). These factors, together with an unstable phone/GPS signal, made the task of using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (aka drone) challenging. In addition, most of the selected reach had ice accumulation. In order to gain expertise and overcome the aforementioned challenges, WoWW allied with the department of Geography at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute forecasted heavy rain for Storelva river in Utvik (in Stryn) during early November and Michal and Adina drove to the West of Norway spontaneously. Although the weather resulted drier than predicted and the river barely carried water, the snow from the mountains has not yet reached the river downstream by the fjord. The wind did not encourage to fly the drone, however, they did experiment with acoustic (i.e. ADCP) and salt dilution gauging methods (see the gallery of photos below).

Storelva river in Utvik was flooded during summer 2017 and now flood-protection measures have been implemented. The channel has been excavated and a dyke has been built to protect the adjacent houses, formerly affected by the flash flood. The new channel shape demands for a new data set for ongoing research on flood risk in Stryn. The Norwegian winter is coming and the field work season comes to an end. Further attempts to obtain field data in Central and West Norway will be conducted during spring, once the snow has melted. A manuscript analyzing the hydrology of the 2017 flood was published in Hydrology Research this spring, and the efforts are now focused on understanding the hydrodynamics and the morphodynamics of the flood.

conference

River Flow 2020

The 10th International Conference in Fluvial Hydraulics, organized by TU Delft, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education, Deltares and Rijkswaterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, the Netherlands), together with the International Association for Hydro- Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR) and the Netherlands Centre for River Studies (NCR), has been held from the 7th to the 10th of July.

Researchers from water-related disciplines like Hydraulics, Morphodynamics, Ecology and Integral approaches presented their work digitally, and the contents were exceptionally available for the attendees to discuss upon until the 17th of July due to the COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. Among the varied topics in fluid mechanics, river monitoring, extreme events and rivers under pressure, few studies focused on optimized numerical modelling techniques, as well as visualization and flood risk communication.

Adina presented the “Current trends in the optimization of hydraulic flood simulations in ungauged steep rivers” in the session “Numerical Modelling – Applications”. Her presentation (available here) summarized few optimization techniques nowadays applied to the the hydraulic analysis of floods and addressed their advantages and limitations when applied to steep rivers where historical hydrologic data is seldom available.

Alongside with the different thematic sessions arranged, young researchers were given the opportunity to present and discuss varied topics in masterclasses arranged by experienced researchers. For instance, Adina participated on the 6th of July in the masterclass “The Digital River”, organized by Enrica Viparelli (University of South Carolina) and Ioana Popescu (IHE Delft).

The Digital River masterclass, held during River Flow 2020 (© E. Viparelli)

The conference program had other highlights, such as an e-social gathering and keynote lectures in “Future generations fighting climate change” (Gabriela Eslava Bejarano, Columbia University, USA), “Rivers Dynamics in Regions of Rapid Climate Change” (Irina Overeem, University of Colorado at Boulder, USA) and “When a tree falls in a river… a cascade process begins” (Virginia Ruiz-Villanueva, University of Lausanne, Switzerland).

World of Wild Waters

WoWW presented at IBM’s end-of-the-year seminar 2019

The department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (Institutt for Bygg- og Miljøteknikk) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) held its end-of-the-year seminar at Scandic Hotel (Trondheim) today. World of Wild Waters was presented, among other projects held within the different research groups in this department, this time by the IBM’s PhD candidates within WoWW.

IBM’s PhD candidates within the World of Wild Waters presenting at the department’s end-of-the-year seminar (©A. Juárez)

After the session where the main research groups (Building and Construction, Geotechnical Engineering, Hydraulics Engineering, Marine Civil Engineering, Road-Transport-and-Geomatics, Water and Waste Water Engineering, etc.) presented their progress and near-future goals, the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) group briefed us on the importance of a balanced psychosocial work environment and mental health.

The WoWW project’s presentation was held within the third session of the day: the Excellence in Action! session. The presentation slideshow is available here.

Although the project started about a year ago, our last PhD candidate (Silius Mortensønn Vandeskog, Dept. of Mathematics) joined us officially this Autumn. This presentation is, therefore, one of the first public presentations since the WoWW team is complete.

conference

5th Conference on Modelling Hydrology, Climate and Land Surface…

The 5th Conference on Modelling Hydrology, Climate and Land Surface Processes was held 17-19 September 2019 in Lillehammer, Norway. Nitesh attended this conference and presented a poster titled “Choosing an appropriate hydrologic model“. The poster focused on the work to be done before starting the actual hydrologic simulations. The poster briefly reviewed five commonly used hydrological models and described how to choose a suitable hydrologic model for the intended purpose.

A visit to the ski jump tower was also organized in the evening of the last day of the conference.

Visit to the Lysgårdsbakkene Ski Jumping Arena, the city’s major landmark.
Lysgårdsbakken consists of a large hill, with a K-point of 123 and a hill size of 138, and a small hill with a K-point of 90 and a hill size of 100.
View down the large hill
1000 steps to the top of the large hill
conference

22nd Northern Research Basins conference (Yellowknife, Canada)

The 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop was held in Yellowknife, Canada (by the Great Slave lake, one of the 10 largest fresh water lakes on the planet), from August 18th to August 24th 2019. There, Oddbjørn (project leader) and Adina (work package 2) presented their research regarding hydrology and hydraulics of flash floods in steep rivers.

Oddbjørn’s presentation was titled “Extreme flood in small steep catchments: how extreme can it become?” and covered the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. Also, several recent flood events affecting the southwest of Norway were presented. The take-home message was that these events are more extreme and more recurring than ever as northern regions are suffering a global warming trend. Adina’s presentation, on the other hand, tackled a virtual experiment on “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS“. This allows correlating hydrologic and topographic parameters to sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

A pannel of discussion was organized on the last two days, which led to very enriching and insightful discussion regarding how to better collaborate and achieve synergies among local field knowledge and the scientific community. Attendees were indigenous experts, the scientists presenting during the conference and the local pannelists invited.

The conference agenda included social activities, such as a boat trip to visit the indigenous Dene community nearby, learn about their traditions and how to use natural and forest resources and appreciate what nature has to offer. We got the chance to go on a guided tour around artsy Yellowknife, always accompanied by live fiddle music (see photographs below). Lastly, a banquet was held and a visit to Scotty creek closed the conference on Saturday.

conference

Coming soon: 22nd NRB conference – Canada

WoWW’s project leader, Oddbjørn Bruland, and Adina will present at the 22nd Northern Research Basins Symposium/Workshop held in Yellowknife, Canada, from August 18th to August 24th.

Oddbjørn’s presentation is titled “How extreme can specific runoff become in steep Norwegian catchments?” and covers the complex hydrology around the flood event that affected his hometown, Utvik, exactly two years ago, in July 2017. This data has been used to simulate the hydraulics and morphodynamics of the affected rivers both in Utvik and the neighbour village, Innvik, in the poster Michal and Oddbjørn presented at EGU in April this year.

Oddbjørn Bruland in Utvik during the flood event of July 2017 (Photo: Hallgeir Vågenes VG)

Adina’s presentation is titled “River idealization for identification of critical locations in steep rivers using 2D hydrodynamic modelling and GIS” and tackles the characterization of any named steep river’s susceptibility to changing conditions, such as extreme rainfalls. The preliminary idealization of scenarios allows to detect parameters and sensitive areas worth focusing on during more detailed studies (such as channel bends) without the interference of case-specific hydrologic and topographic conditions. The study is time and cost-saving oriented, aiming at optimizing flood risk analysis.

Both presentations will take place on the first day of the conference, Monday 18th of August. We will update with anecdotes on this event; stay tuned!