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Global change, landscape ageing and the pulse of catchments - EGU Leonardo Topical Conference Series

16-18 oct. 2019
University of Luxembourg | Maison du Savoir - 2, avenue de l'Université | L-4365 ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE - Esch-sur-Alzette (Luxembourg)

From 16-18 October 2019, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), in partnership with the European Geosciences Union (EGU), the University of Luxembourg and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), will organize the conference "Global change, landscape ageing and the pulse of catchments" at the Belval Innovation Campus. A cardinal challenge in hydrological sciences is how global change is going to affect/impact the ‘pulse of catchments'. The design and implementation of any future water resources management strategy is indeed tightly bound to the challenges posed by non-stationarity. Hydrological systems are known to be subject to continuous changes. This variability eventually determines the diversity of catchments, as well as their intrinsic property of changing systems (e.g. through the transfer of energy (evaporation) and water (erosion)). While we are still struggling with the natural variability of hydrological systems, we are facing a much bigger challenge with the increasing influence of anthropogenic pressures (expressed for example through changes in climate and land use, pollution of soils and water bodies). In this context, stationarity of hydrological systems as a fundamental assumption clearly stands out. Having provided a conceptual backbone for a (rather successful) engineering-centric approach to hydrological problems (e.g. floods, droughts), this assumption does not withstand the effects of two phenomena that have recently emerged: the rapid increase of global change related impacts on hydrological systems and the increasing complexity of processes and feed-back mechanisms that are directly or indirectly related to these impacts. It seems obvious that catchments as open geo-ecosystems will likely react to global change with ecological and morphological adaptions to climate and human induced changes. However, the kind and degree of these adaptions and their feedbacks on the catchment hydrological functioning are far from being from being obvious. This implies that hydrological projections into the future might be more than uncertain – they might be biased and thus systematically wrong. This is because all currently available model concepts rely on a stationary catchment “skeleton” represented by stationary parameterizations. As these have been trained on past datasets they represent the past transformation properties of the catchments. Inevitably, the cardinal challenge for hydrological sciences is now to provide new ways to deal with non-stationarity of hydrological systems.
Discipline scientifique : Sciences de l'environnement - Biodiversité et Ecologie - Milieux et Changements globaux

Lieu de la conférence
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