Hillslope Hydrology: Past, Present and Future

From 13-15 October 2019, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), in partnership with the University of Luxembourg and the University of Saskatchewan, will organize an invitation-only workshop "Hillslope Hydrology: Past, Present and Future" at the Belval Innovation Campus.

Hillslope hydrologists have worked tirelessly in the field for 60 years. And these efforts have uncovered  many of the processes and mechanisms that inform out understanding of rainfall-runoff processes. But with the widespread availability of models, hillslope knowledge is be relegated to the annals of history.

Therefore, this commentary seeks to summarize the axioms of hillslope behaviour that any functioning model should include, make a case for why field work is still essential and identify the 5 most pressing questions for new hillslope process understanding.


The main objectives of this workshop are:

  • to reunite the lab; with a few honored guests;
  • to catch-up on what we are all doing;
  • to pen a useful commentary to the community;
  • and most importantly to have fun.


Sunday Oct 13, 2019

Arrival through the day at Ibis Hotel and other area hotels, dinner on your own.
19.00 - Welcome reception (with free beer and snacks) at Coyote Bar, Belval (11, avenue du Swing - Belval)


Monday Oct 14, 2019

Main meeting room (3.540 Maison du Savoir - 3rd floor)

8.30 - Registration and welcome coffee

9.00 - Welcome
Laurent Pfister and Jeff McDonnell, Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

9.15-10.15 - Workshop Lecture: Hypothesis testing and model invalidation for hillslope hydrology - Keith Beven

10.15-10.45 - Coffee and pastries

10.45-12.15 - Short talks:  Session 1 (these will be 5 min, back-to-back talks) - Former PhD students and Post Docs (alphabetic order for now)

Chair: Kevin McGuire

  • Scott Allen (ETH Zurich), Fates of soil waters in forests
  • Genevieve Ali (Guelph University), Hydrologic connectivity: Truly new concept or a case of ‘reinventing the wheel’
  • Ali Ameli (UBC), Direct quantification of the frequency and extent of hillslope hydrologic connectivity
  • Willemijn Appels (Lethbridge College), Hillslopes where science and practice meet
  • Doug Burns (USGS Troy NY), A hydrological approach to trend analysis to improve understanding of ecosystem recovery
  • Cody Hale (Nutter and Associates), Hydrologic (Dis)Connectivity: Bridging the Gap Between Science and Practice
  • Nick Hjerdt (SMHI Sweden), From hillslopes to watersheds and continents (and back?) – a personal journey in hydrology
  • Luisa Hopp (Bayreuth University), The sources and flow pathways of nitrate in an agricultural catchment: the role of groundwater and hydrological connectivity
  • Julian Klaus (LIST), Connectivity and mixing in the HRS continuum
  • Scott Jasechko (UC Santa Barbara), Continental-scale hydraulic gradients
  • April James (Nipissing University), Tracing water cycling in regulated Boreal Shield watersheds using stable water isotopes in northeastern Ontario, Canada

12.15-13.15 - Group photo and lunch (networking with LIST Phd students and early career researchers)

Main meeting room

13.15-14.30 - Short talks: Session 2 (these will be 5 min, back-to-back talks) - Former PhD students and Post Docs

Chair: Scott Jasechko

  • Richard Keim (Louisiana State University), Forest hydrology of fine-grained floodplains
  • Mike McHale (USGS), Rain, soils, and streams - Change in the Catskill Mountains  
  • Kevin McGuire (Virginia Tech University), What can a hydrologist learn about soil patterns and processes?
  • Lyssette Munos Villers (UNAM Mexico City), Runoff generation in contrasting land cover catchments: Lessons from a tropical montane cloud forest environment in Mexico
  • Magali Nehemy (University of Saskatchewan), Insights into plant water use from a controlled lysimeter experiment
  • Natalie Orlowski (Freiburg University), Extracting soil water from experimental hillslopes
  •  Luke Pangle (Georgia State University), An urban context for hillslope and headwater catchment hydrology
  • Leo Peskett (University of Edinburgh) Does spatial organisation of vegetation on hillslopes matter?
  • Taka Sayama (Kyoto University), Groundwater dynamics in humid tropical hillslopes: Toward right impact assessment of landcover and climate changes on catchment hydrology
  • Jan Seibert (University of Zurich), Hillslope hydrology in Swederland - runoff generation in Switzerland from a Swedish perspective
  • Ilja van Meerveld (University of Zurich), Effects of hillslope aging, soil and vegetation development on near surface flow pathways
  • Markus Weiler (Freiburg University), On the pain of losing tennis matches to Jeff the last two times we have played

14.30-15.45 Breakout group discussion I
Chaired by Ilja van Meerveld

(First, few minutes in Main meeting room. Then reserved discussion in Library.)

The goal of this discussion: what we know; what we deem essential to communicate it to modellers

(Workshop participants will break into 4 groups—this part for workshop speakers only)

15.45-16.00 - Coffee break (Main meeting room)

Main meeting room

16.00-16.30 - Reports back by the 4 groups (5-min each) and the Large Group discussion

17.00 - Exercise and relaxation time

19.00 - Workshop Dinner for Invited Participants
The Seven Hotel. Am Park SA | 50 Parc Gaalgebierg | L-4142 Esch-sur-Alzette | +352 540228

Tuesday Oct 15, 2019

8.30 - Registration and welcome coffee

9.00-9.15 - Welcome re-cap, Jeff McDonnell

9.15-10.30 - Short talks Session 3  (these will be 5 min, back-to-back talks)

  • Paolo Benettin (EPFL), Water age contrasts in soils from experimental and numerical work
  • Fabrizio Fenicia (EAWAG), How can experimentalists contribute in building large scale models
  • Gordon Grant (US Forest Service), TBA
  • Rick Hooper (Tufts University), Using geofabrics to synthesize catchment processes to landscape scale
  • Danielle Penne, TBA
  • Laurent Pfister (LIST), From diatoms to the moon: on the benefit and limitations of interdisciplinary work in hydrology
  • John Selker (Oregon State University), Time to lay-down recession analysis? 42 years from theory to reality
  • Chris Soulsby (University of Aberdeen), Water storage – flux – age interactions in extreme hillslopes: moving on from humid temperate catchments
  • Doerthe Tetzlaff (IGB and Humboldt University), Ecohydrological controls on hillslope connectivity in drought-sensitive mixed land use catchments
  • Howard Wheater (University of Saskatchewan), Water security and why hillslopes still matter

10.30-11.00 - Coffee break

11.00-12.00 - Breakout discussion II
Chaired by Jan Seibert

"What don't we know? What do we need to know? What are the most important and fundamental questions we have in hillslope hydrology - this session is simply to list and discuss as many as possible"

12.00-12.30 - Reports back and Large group discussion

12.30-13.30 - Lunch

13.30-14.00 - Moderated Large Group discussion in main meeting room

14.00-15.00 - Breakout Session III
Chaired by Markus Weiler

(First few minutes in main meeting room.  Then reserved discussion rooms TBA to discuss and finalize in meeting rooms 114 and 210 - Maison de l'Innovation LIST)

"Hillslope Hydrology’s ~10 most important unanswered questions (motivated by the IAHS 23 Unanswered Questions activity)"

15.00-15.30 - Coffee break

15.30-16.00 - Reports back and large group discussion

16.00 - Wrap-up discussion, next step plans for commentary and workshop closing

16.15 - Adjourn


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Hillslope Hydrology: Past, Present and Future

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Practical Infos

Venue: University of Luxembourg | Maison du Savoir - 2, avenue de l'Université | L-4365 ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE

Date: 13-15 October 2019

Language: English

Contact: event@list.lu

Registration: free but registration is required by June 30, 2019


Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST)

5, avenue des Hauts-Fourneaux
L-4362 Esch-sur-Alzette
Tel: +352 275 888 - 1
Fax: +352 275 885

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