Special Issue "Hydrological Modeling: Beyond Runoff Calibration"


A special issue of Hydrology (ISSN 2306-5338).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 August 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Luca Brocca
Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, National Research Council, Via della Madonna Alta 126, I-06128 Perugia, Italy
Website: http://hydrology.irpi.cnr.it/people/l.brocca
E-Mail: luca.brocca@irpi.cnr.it
Phone: +39 0755014 418
Interests: use of remote sensing observations for hydrological applications; use of soil moisture observations for landslide prediction, erosion, numerical weather prediction; hydrologic and hydraulic modelling; real time flood forecasting; flooding risk analysis; flood frequency assessment (under climate change); optimization and management of hydro-meteorological networks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the scientific literature, a plethora of hydrological models can be found with different levels of complexity. These models all share one general issue: the difficulty of verifying their reliability when they are applied to study basins with different climates, soils, and land uses. However, the increased availability of new hydrological observations, from in situ and satellite sensors (e.g., data concerning soil moisture, tracers, isotopes, energy fluxes, etc.) allows for unprecedented new opportunities. In fact, most studies still use only runoff data, sometimes over only a limited time period, for calibrating and validating hydrological models. Moreover, these models are built primarily to simulate only runoff. Due to the well-known issue of equifinality, we expect considerable uncertainties from these models’ predictions.

This Special Issue on "Hydrological Modeling: Beyond Runoff Calibration" aims to present a new generation of modeling studies that incorporate and use new hydrological information, provided through experimental hydrologists, so as to foster a constructive dialogue between modelers and experimentalists. Hopefully, other variables, beyond discharge, will be used for controls. This aim does not suggest that new structures or kinds of models should be developed. However, these models should be able to efficiently use newly available information. Utilizing such information effectively will reduce the uncertainties of applying existing models for (real time) flood forecasting and will allow building more robust models that are able to face the new challenges of making predictions under climate change. These benefits will augment the abilities of a wide range of disciplines in which water is an essential agent.

Reviews, recent advances, future trends, and case studies of general interest that address the development and application of these "new generation" hydrological models are welcome. Possible examples are: (1) models that are able to efficiently use and assimilate remote sensing observations (e.g., soil moisture), (2) simplified models that are applied in scarcely gauged catchments, and (3) new flexible models that are able to improve our understanding of river basin hydrological behavior. Some relevant questions that may be addressed by this Special Issue are: (1) Do our models make robust predictions of hydrological cycle components under climate change scenarios? (2) Can we integrate different data sources into our hydrological models for improving their predictions? (3) Do we trust hydrological models enough to apply them in ungauged basins? Finally, an overarching question might be: Can we give reliable hydrological predictions without model calibration?

Dr. Luca Brocca
Guest Editor


Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Hydrology is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.


  • hydrological modeling
  • distributed models
  • experimental hydrology
  • remote sensing
  • climate change
  • ungauged basins
  • soil moisture, runoff

Published Papers (2 papers)

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p. 89-111
by , ,  and
Hydrology 2014, 1(1), 89-111; doi:10.3390/hydrology1010089
Received: 23 July 2014; in revised form: 20 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 October 2014 / Published: 31 October 2014
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(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrological Modeling: Beyond Runoff Calibration)
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p. 63-88
by , ,  and
Hydrology 2014, 1(1), 63-88; doi:10.3390/hydrology1010063
Received: 19 June 2014; in revised form: 17 July 2014 / Accepted: 26 July 2014 / Published: 5 August 2014
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Last update: 3 July 2014

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