Progress in hydrological sciences: what do we learn from our mistakes?
Convener: L. Pfister  | Co-Conveners: FF Fenicia , P. Matgen 
Oral Programme
 / Mon, 20 Apr, 13:30–15:00  / Room 33
Poster Programme
 / Attendance Mon, 20 Apr, 17:30–19:00  / Hall A
Every component of the observation-conceptualisation-modelling chain in hydrological sciences is potentially subject to numerous sources of error. From the observation network design, the selection of the hydro-climatological variables that are to be monitored, the often unknown scale dependency of the processes involved in the rainfall-runoff transformation, towards the elaboration of hydrological processes concepts and the implementation of hydrological models, uncertainties are paving the way of experimental hydrologists and hydrological modellers. Once identified, the propagation of these errors and uncertainties in the observation-conceptualisation-modelling chain needs to be tackled via various statistical approaches. This exercise is supposed to provide insights into both the accuracy and pertinence of the model concepts.
While the tremendous gain in computational power over the past decades has allowed to make substantial progress in the optimisation of the potential of the statistical approaches that are at hand, it seems as if progress in reducing the gap between hydrological reality and model concepts has been hampered over the past decade. While scale issues that characterise hydrological processes certainly play a major role in this fact, it also seems obvious that to some extent the lack of communication and information exchange between researchers involved in the various components of the observation-conceptualisation-modelling chain has the potential to seriously hamper progress.
This session focuses on :
- the identification of the potential error sources in various research domains of contemporary hydrological sciences,
- the communication of the encountered difficulties inside the hydrological community,
- the use that is made of information concerning encountered difficulties and errors in order to make progress in hydrological sciences.
The session is based both on invited talks and poster presentations. The invited speakers will partially rely on the content of the posters submitted for this session.
The three invited talks will be based upon the following topics (titles still might slightly change) :
1. Are contemporary experimental hydrologists standing on the shoulders of giants ? (by J.J. McDonnell)
2. Hydrological modellers facing experimental hydrologists : lost in translation ? (by K. Beven)
3. New measurement techniques : cutting the Gordian knot of hydrology ? (by H.H.G. Savenije)