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) (Belval)


Monday Oct 14, 2019

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

10.45-12.00 - Short talks:  Session 1 (these will be 5 min, back-to-back talks) - Former PhD students and Post Docs

  • 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), Irrigation indoors – using artificial hillslopes for applied research and extension
  • Holly Barnard (University of Colorado / NSF), Ecohydrology of forested watersheds: water, carbon, and isotopes (oh my!)
  • Doug Burns (USGS Troy NY), Restoration of catchment water quality: Legacy impacts on soils
  • Marcel Gaj (Freiburg University), Soil tension controls on the stable isotope signatures in the soil-plant atmosphere continuum: A new frontier in hydrology?
  • Jim Freer (Bristol University), TBA
  • 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
  • Richard Keim (Louisiana State University), TBA

12.00-13.00 - Group photo and lunch

13.30-14.30 - Short talks: Session 2 (these will be 5 min, back-to-back talks) - Former PhD students and Post Docs

  • 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    
  • Brian McGlynn (Duke University Sailboat), What sailing around the world has taught me about hillslope hydrology
  • Kevin McGuire (Virginia Tech University), TBA
  • 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), Soil water extraction methods - the good and the bad
  •  Luke Pangle (Georgia State University), TBA
  • 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
  • Taro Uchida, Title TBA
  • Kellie Vache (Oregon State University), TBA
  • 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
Chaired by Ilja van Meerveld

Axioms of Hillslope Hydrology
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

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

17.00 - Time Soccer match on field outside of LIST

19.00 - Workshop Dinner


Tuesday Oct 15, 2019

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)

  • Sampurno Bruijnzeel (Kings College London), TBA
  • Tim Burt (Bristol University), Beyond the confines of a research project: making the most of benchmark data sets
  • Gordon Grant (US Forest Service), TBA
  • Rick Hooper (Tufts University), Using geofabrics to synthesize catchment processes to landscape scale
  • Carol Kendall (USGS Menlo Park), TBA
  • Laurent Pfister (LIST), From diatoms to the moon: What working with material scientists has taught me
  • Jeff McDonnell (LIST and University of Saskatchewan), Reflections on hillslopes hydrology: From Bicknoller to Maimai and beyond
  • 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
  • John Selker (Oregon State University), TBA
  • 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

“Why running a model is not enough”? We will discuss the most compelling arguments for why field work is still needed in an age of model in the hands of everyone?

12.00-12.30 - Reports back and Large group discussion

12.30-14.00 - Lunch

14.00-15.00 - Breakout Session III
Chaired by Markus Weiler

Hillslope Hydrology’s ~5 most important unanswered questions (motivated by the IAHS 23 Unanswered Questions activity)

15.00 - Coffee break

15.15-15.45 - Reports back and large group discussion

15.45-15.15 - 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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