Alberto Montanari

Alberto Montanari
University of Bologna | UNIBO · Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental and Materials Engineering DICAM

Master Degree in Civil Engineering - Ph.D. in Hydrology

About

230
Publications
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12,572
Citations

Publications

Publications (230)
Article
Full-text available
Uncertainty is inherent in the modelling of any physical processes. Regarding hydrological modelling, the uncertainty has multiple sources including the measurement errors of the stresses (the model inputs), the measurement errors of the hydrological process of interest (the observations against which the model is calibrated), the model limitations...
Article
Full-text available
Bluecat is a recently proposed methodology to upgrade a deterministic model (D-model) into a stochastic one (S-model), based on the hypothesis that the information contained in a time series of observations and the concurrent predictions made by the D-model is sufficient to support this upgrade. The prominent characteristics of the methodology are...
Article
Full-text available
We present a new method for simulating and predicting hydrologic variables and in particular river flows, which is rooted in the probability theory and conceived in order to provide a reliable quantification of its uncertainty for operational applications. Our approach, which we term with the acronym "Bluecat", results from a theoretical and numeri...
Article
Full-text available
We present a new method for simulating and predicting hydrologic variables with uncertainty assessment and provide example applications to river flows. The method is identified with the acronym “Bluecat" and is based on the use of a deterministic model which is subsequently converted to a stochastic formulation. The latter provides an adjustment on...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present a new method for simulating and predicting hydrologic variables with uncertainty assessment and provide example applications to river flows. The method is identified with the acronym "Bluecat" and is based on the use of a deterministic model which is subsequently converted to a stochastic formulation. The latter provides an adjustment on...
Presentation
Full-text available
Probabilistic hydrological modelling methodologies often comprise two-stage post-processing schemes, thereby allowing the exploitation of the information provided by conceptual or physically-based rainfall-runoff models. They might also require issuing an ensemble of rainfall-runoff model simulations by using the rainfall-runoff model with differen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We propose a brisk method for uncertainty estimation in hydrology which maximizes the probabilistic efficiency of the estimated confidence bands over the whole range of the predicted variables. It is an innovative approach framed within the blueprint we proposed in 2012 for stochastic physically-based modelling of hydrological systems. We present t...
Article
We introduce an ensemble learning post-processing methodology for probabilistic hydrological modelling. This methodology generates numerous point predictions by applying a single hydrological model, yet with different parameter values drawn from the respective simulated posterior distribution. We call these predictions “sister predictions”. Each si...
Article
Predictive hydrological uncertainty can be quantified by using ensemble methods. If properly formulated, these methods can offer improved predictive performance by combining multiple predictions. In this work, we use 50-year-long monthly time series observed in 270 catchments in the United States to explore the performances provided by an ensemble...
Article
Full-text available
We conduct a large-scale benchmark experiment aiming to advance the use of machine-learning quantile regression algorithms for probabilistic hydrological post-processing “at scale” within operational contexts. The experiment is set up using 34-year-long daily time series of precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration and streamflow for 511 catch...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change has led to concerns about increasing river floods resulting from the greater water-holding capacity of a warmer atmosphere¹. These concerns are reinforced by evidence of increasing economic losses associated with flooding in many parts of the world, including Europe². Any changes in river floods would have lasting implications for th...
Preprint
Full-text available
We conduct a large-scale benchmark experiment aiming to advance the use of machine-learning quantile regression algorithms for probabilistic hydrological post-processing "at scale" within operational contexts. The experiment is set up using 34-year-long daily time series of precipitation, temperature, evapotranspiration and streamflow for 501 catch...
Article
Full-text available
Human pressures on river systems pose a major threat to the sustainable development of human societies in the twenty first century, with severe implications for anthropogenic activities and river ecosystems. Previous studies showed that a large part of the global population was exposed to relevant threats to water security already at the beginning...
Presentation
Full-text available
Quantification of predictive uncertainty in hydrological modelling is often made by post-processing point hydrological predictions using regression models. We perform an extensive comparison of machine learning algorithms in obtaining quantile predictions of daily streamflow under this specific approach. The comparison is performed using a large am...
Data
Quantification of predictive uncertainty in hydrological modelling is often made by post-processing point hydrological predictions using regression models. We perform an extensive comparison of machine learning algorithms in obtaining quantile predictions of daily streamflow under this specific approach. The comparison is performed using a large am...
Preprint
Full-text available
Predictive hydrological uncertainty can be quantified by using ensemble methods. If properly formulated, these methods can offer improved predictive performance by combining multiple predictions. In this work, we use 50-year-long monthly time series observed in 270 catchments in the United States to explore the performances provided by an ensemble...
Preprint
Full-text available
We introduce an ensemble learning post-processing methodology for probabilistic hydrological modelling. This methodology generates numerous point predictions by applying a single hydrological model, yet with different parameter values drawn from the respective simulated posterior distribution. We call these predictions “sister predictions”. Each si...
Article
Full-text available
Confounding factors like urbanization and land-use change could introduce uncertainty to the estimation of global temperature trends related to climate change. In this work, we introduce a new way to investigate the nexus between temporal trends of temperature and urbanization data at the global scale in the period from 1992 to 2013. We analyze air...
Article
Full-text available
Our study develops and tests a geostatistical technique for locally enhancing macro-scale rainfall–runoff simulations on the basis of observed streamflow data that were not used in calibration. We consider Tyrol (Austria and Italy) and two different types of daily streamflow data: macro-scale rainfall–runoff simulations at 11 prediction nodes and o...
Article
Full-text available
A comprehensive understanding of seasonality in extreme rainfall is essential for climate studies, flood prediction and various hydrological applications such as scheduling season‐specific engineering works, intra‐annual management of reservoirs, seasonal flood risk mitigation and stormwater management. To identify seasonality in extreme rainfall a...
Article
Full-text available
River networks play a key role in the spatial organization of human settlements. Both river networks and human settlements have been found to exhibit regular self-similar patterns, but little is known about the generalized spatial patterns of human settlements embedded within river networks. Here based on night light data, we find a universal fract...
Article
Full-text available
The geophysical and hydrological processes governing river flow formation exhibit persistence at several timescales, which may manifest itself with the presence of positive seasonal correlation of streamflow at several different time lags. We investigate here how persistence propagates along subsequent seasons and affects low and high flows. We def...
Article
Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers may be of major concern for fluvial ecosystems, e.g. abstraction and impoundment of surface water resources may profoundly alter natural streamflow regimes. An established approach aimed at preserving the behavior and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of ecological flows (e-fl...
Article
This study analyses the differences in significant trends in magnitude and frequency of floods detected in annual maximum flood (AMF) and peak over threshold (POT) flood peak series, for the period 1965–2005. Flood peaks are identified from European daily discharge data using a baseflow-based algorithm and significant trends in the AMF series are c...
Article
Full-text available
Our study develops and tests a geostatistical technique for locally enhancing macro-scale rainfall-runoff simulations on the basis of observed streamflow data that were not used in calibration. We consider Tyrol (Austria and Italy) and two different types of daily streamflow data: macro-scale rainfall-runoff simulations at 11 prediction nodes and o...
Article
Full-text available
A warming climate is expected to have an impact on the magnitude and timing of river floods; however, no consistent large-scale climate change signal in observed flood magnitudes has been identified so far. We analyzed the timing of river floods in Europe over the past five decades, using a pan-European database from 4262 observational hydrometric...
Article
Full-text available
We explore the memory properties of catchments for predicting the likelihood of floods based on observations of average flows in pre-flood seasons. Our approach assumes that flood formation is driven by the superimposition of short- and long-term perturbations. The former is given by the short-term meteorological forcing leading to infiltration and...
Article
On behalf of the journal, the American Geophysical Union, and the scientific community, the editors would like to sincerely thank those who reviewed manuscripts for Water Resources Research in 2016. Their time spent reading and commenting on manuscripts not only improves the manuscripts themselves but also increases the scientific rigor of future r...
Article
Full-text available
In Canada, flood analysis and water resource management, in general, are tasks conducted at the provincial level; therefore, unified national-scale approaches to water-related problems are uncommon. In this study, a national-scale flood risk assessment approach is proposed and developed. The study focuses on using global and national datasets avail...
Article
Full-text available
We explore the memory properties of catchments for predicting the likelihood of floods basing on observations of average flows in pre-flood seasons. Our approach assumes that flood formation is driven by the superimposition of short and long term perturbations. The former is given by the short term meteorological forcing leading to infiltration and...
Article
Full-text available
In Canada, flood analysis and water resource management, in general, are tasks conducted at the provincial level; therefore, unified national-scale approaches to water-related problems are uncommon. In this study, a national-scale flood risk assessment approach is proposed and developed. The study focuses on using global and national datasets avail...
Presentation
Full-text available
Presentation given at the Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Saskatchewan. Video available at https://youtu.be/_vsla4Bmh1Q
Article
We explore how to address the challenges of adaptation of water resources systems under changing conditions by supporting flexible, resilient and low-regret solutions, coupled with on-going monitoring and evaluation. This will require improved understanding of the linkages between biophysical and social aspects in order to better anticipate the pos...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding how human settlements and economic activities are distributed with reference to the geographical location of streams and rivers is of fundamental relevance for several issues, such as flood risk management, drought management related to increased water demands by human population, fluvial ecosystem services, water pollution and water...
Article
Full-text available
How long a river remembers its past is still an open question. Perturbations occurring in large catchments may impact the flow regime for several weeks and months, therefore providing a physical explanation for the occasional tendency of floods to occur in clusters. The research question explored in this paper may be stated as follows: can higher t...
Conference Paper
The Lake of Monate (province of Varese, Northern Italy), is a unique example of ecosystem in equilibrium. The lake water quality is deemed excellent notwithstanding the intensive agricultural cultivation, industrial assets and mining activities characterising the surrounding areas. The lake has a true touristic vocation and is the only swimmable wa...
Presentation
Full-text available
The Lake of Monate (province of Varese, Northern Italy), is a unique example of ecosystem in equilibrium. The lake water quality is deemed excellent notwithstanding the intensive agricultural cultivation, industrial assets and mining activities characterising the surrounding areas. The lake has a true touristic vocation and is the only swimmable wa...
Article
Full-text available
Editors of several journals in the field of hydrology met during the Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences—IAHS (within the Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics—IUGG) in Prague in June 2015. This event was a follow-up of a similar meeting held in July 2013 in Gothenburg (as reported by Blöschl e...
Article
Full-text available
Editors of several journals in the field of hydrology met during the Assembly of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences—IAHS (within the Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics—IUGG) in Prague in June 2015. This event was a follow-up of a similar meeting held in July 2013 in Gothenburg (as reported by Blöschl e...
Article
Full-text available
In his Farewell Editorial, Z.W. (Zbyszek) Kundzewicz (2015) provides a fascinating read, useful for older and younger hydrologists alike. It covers the history of Hydrological Sciences Journal (HSJ), official organ of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS), not only during his long-lasting (18 years) service as Editor, but al...
Article
Full-text available
In 2013, the IAHS launched the hydrological decade 2013–2022 with the theme “Panta Rhei: Change in Hydrology and Society”. The decade recognises the urgency of hydrological research to understand and predict the interactions of society and water, to support sustainable water resource use under changing climatic and environmental conditions. This pa...
Article
On behalf of the journal, AGU, and the scientific community, the editors would like to sincerely thank those who reviewed manuscripts for Water Resources Research in 2015. The hours reading and commenting on manuscripts not only improves the manuscripts themselves but it also increases the scientific rigor of future research in the field. Many of t...
Article
Full-text available
Reliable information about hydrological behavior is needed for water-resource management and scientific investigations. Hydrological signatures quantify catchment behavior as index values, and can be predicted for ungauged catchments using a regionalization procedure. The prediction reliability is affected by data uncertainties for the gauged catch...
Article
Full-text available
Emanating from his remarkable characterization of long-term variability in geophysical records in the early 1950s, Hurst’s scientific legacy to hydrology and other disciplines is explored. A statistical explanation of the so-called ‘Hurst Phenomenon’ did not emerge until 1968 when Mandelbrot and co-authors proposed fractional Gaussian noise based o...
Article
The year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Water Resources Research (WRR), which was founded in 1965. More than 15,000 papers have been published in WRR since its inception, and these papers have been cited more than 430,000 times. The history of hydrology and the water sciences are also reflected in WRR, which has served as a premier publication...
Article
Full-text available
We present a steady state hydraulic model of the tributary and the outlet of a Martian paleolake located in the Memnonia quadrangle between 167°0'0''W and 167°30'0''W longitude and between 9°25'0''S and 9°45'0''S latitude. The Mars Express High-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) digital elevation model, H31850000DA4, with a spatial resolution of 75 m...
Article
We present an overview of the contributions collected to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Water Resources Research along with a critical discussion of the legacy and perspectives for the science of hydrology in the 21st century. This collection of papers highlights exciting pathways to the future of water sciences. New monitoring and modeling...
Article
The human presence close to streams and rivers is known to have consistently increased worldwide, therefore introducing dramatic anthropogenic and environmental changes. However, a spatiotemporal detailed analysis is missing to date. In this paper, we propose a novel method to quantify the temporal evolution and the spatial distribution of the anth...
Article
During 2014 Water Resources Research benefited from the voluntary effort of 2103 reviewers. Their constructive and professional effort was instrumental for publishing high-quality contributions thereby supporting the development of our knowledge of water resources. The contribution of the reviewers is instrumental to science for reaching the target...
Article
Full-text available
The current work addresses one of the key building blocks towards an improved understanding of flood processes and associated changes in flood characteristics and regimes in Europe: the development of a comprehensive, extensive European flood database. The presented work results from ongoing cross-border research collaborations initiated with data...
Article
Full-text available
Reproducibility and repeatability of experiments are the fundamental prerequisites that allow researchers to validate results and share hydrological knowledge, experience and expertise in the light of global water management problems. Virtual laboratories offer new opportunities to enable these prerequisites since they allow experimenters to share...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is no doubt that climate is changing—and ever has been. The environment is also changing and in the last decades, as a result of demographic change and technological advancement, environmental change has been accelerating. These affect also the hydrological processes, whose changes in connection with rapidly changing human systems have been t...
Article
Full-text available
Measuring the impact of climate change on flood frequency is a complex and controversial task. Identifying hydrological changes is difficult given the factors, other than climate variability, which lead to significant variations in runoff series. The catchment filtering role is often overlooked and thus may hinder the correct identification of clim...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In the last years it has emphatically suggested that, when dealing with water management and hydrological extremes, stationarity is no longer a proper assumption. Hence, it was proposed that hydrological processes should be treated as nonstationary. Two main reasons contributed to this perception. First, the climate models project a future hydrocli...
Article
Full-text available
Reproducibility and repeatability of experiments are the fundamental prerequisites that allow researchers to validate results and share hydrological knowledge, experience and expertise in the light of global water management problems. Virtual laboratories offer new opportunities to enable these prerequisites since they allow experimenters 5 to shar...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental change is a reason of relevant concern as it is occurring at an unprecedented pace and might increase natural hazards. Moreover, it is deemed to imply a reduced representativity of past experience and data on extreme hydroclimatic events. The latter concern has been epitomized by the statement that “stationarity is dead”. Setting up p...
Article
River floods claim thousands of lives every year, but effective and high-resolution methods to map human exposure to floods at the global scale are still lacking. We use satellite nightlight data to prove that nocturnal lights close to rivers are consistently related to flood damages. We correlate global data of economic losses caused by flooding e...
Article
Full-text available
The paper presents an overview of the activity of Panta Rhei, the research decade launched in 2013 by the International Association of Hydrological Sciences. After one year of activity Panta Rhei has already stimulated several initiatives and a worldwide involvement of researchers in hydrology and sister disciplines. Providing an overview of the st...