Günter Blöschl's research while affiliated with Federal Agency for Water Management Austria and other places

Publications (336)

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This study compares the flood regime of rivers in Ukraine and Austria over the last decades. We used data from mountain and lowland watersheds, where floods are caused by different processes. In order to identify possible shifts in the day of occurrence of annual flood maxima, we apply the kernel density method to the time series of two subperiods...
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Contradictory interpretations of transient storage modeling (TSM) results of past studies hamper the understanding of how hydrologic conditions control solute transport in streams. To address this issue, we conduct 30 instantaneous tracer experiments in the Weierbach stream, Luxembourg. Using an iterative modeling approach, we calibrate TSM paramet...
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Recent forest fires potentially intensify flood hazards. However, forest fire amplification of floods is not well understood at a large scale due to the complex compound impacts of forest fires and climate variability, while available small‐scale cases may not represent regional changes. Here, we show that the 2019–2020 mega forest fires in southea...
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Pedotransfer functions (PTF) are widely used in soil hydraulic property modelling. Accounting for spatial structures of soil properties for improving the model performance of PTF is increasingly discussed. To understand how model performance varies when PTF are trained with samples of different spatial structure of the input data, we developed 12 e...
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Anomalies in the frequency of river floods, i.e., flood-rich or -poor periods, cause biases in flood risk estimates and thus make climate adaptation measures less efficient. While observations have recently confirmed the presence of flood anomalies in Europe, their exact causes are not clear. Here we analyse streamflow and climate observations duri...
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Climate change and increasing water use associated with socio-economic growth have exacerbated the water crisis in many parts of the world. Many regional studies rely on Earth System Models that, however, do not fully exploit streamflow observations. Here we offer an observation-based approach to predicting streamflow change on the basis of the ela...
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While conflict-and-cooperation phenomena in transboundary basins have been widely studied, much less work has been devoted to representing the process interactions in a quantitative way. This paper identifies the main factors in the riparian countries' willingness to cooperate in the Eastern Nile River basin, involving Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, f...
Preprint
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The transport of solutes in river networks is controlled by the interplay of processes such as in-stream solute transport and the exchange of water between the stream channel and dead zones, in-stream sediments, and the hyporheic zone. Transient storage models (TSMs) are a powerful tool for testing hypotheses related to solute transport in streams....
Preprint
Full-text available
Anomalies in the frequency of river floods, i.e., flood-rich or -poor periods, cause biases in flood risk estimates and thus make climate adaptation measures less efficient. While observations have recently confirmed the presence of flood anomalies in Europe, their exact causes are not clear. Here we analyse streamflow and climate observations duri...
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Full-text available
Statistical dependency measures such as Kendall's Tau or Spearman's Rho are frequently used to analyse the coherence between time series in environmental data analyses. Autocorrelation of the data can, however, result in spurious cross correlations if not accounted for. Here, we present the asymptotic distribution of the estimators of Spearman's Rh...
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There is serious concern that the hazard, or probability, of river floods is increasing over time. Starting from narratives that are sometimes discussed in public, the article addresses three hypotheses. The first suggests that land-use changes, such as deforestation, urbanisation and soil compaction by agriculture, increase flood hazards. This rev...
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Increasing floods and droughts are raising concerns of an accelerating water cycle, however, the relative contributions to streamflow changes from climate and land management have not been assessed at the continental scale. We analyze streamflow data in major South American tropical river basins and show that water use and deforestation have amplif...
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Data assimilation (DA) is a powerful tool to optimally combine uncertain model simulations and observations. Among DA techniques, the particle filter (PF) has gained attention for its capacity to deal with nonlinear systems and for its relaxation of the Gaussian assumption. However, the PF may suffer from degeneracy and sample impoverishment. In th...
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Risk management has reduced vulnerability to floods and droughts globally1,2, yet their impacts are still increasing³. An improved understanding of the causes of changing impacts is therefore needed, but has been hampered by a lack of empirical data4,5. On the basis of a global dataset of 45 pairs of events that occurred within the same area, we sh...
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Soil hydrological processes (SHP) support ecosystems, modulate the impact of climate change on terrestrial systems and control feedback mechanisms between water, energy and biogeochemical cycles. However, land-use changes and extreme events are increasingly impacting these processes. In this Review, we describe SHP across scales and examine their l...
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This paper presents an integrated modeling framework aiming at accurate predictions of flood hazard from heavy rainfalls. The accuracy of such predictions generally depends on the complexity and resolution of the employed model components. We propose an integration of complementary models in one framework that facilitates GPUs to improve accuracy a...
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This paper deals with the simulation of inundated areas for a region of 84,000 km² from estimated flood discharges at a resolution of 2 m. We develop a modeling framework that enables efficient parallel processing of the project region by splitting it into simulation tiles. For each simulation tile, the framework automatically calculates all input...
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Statistical distributions of flood peak discharge often show heavy tail behavior, that is, extreme floods are more likely to occur than would be predicted by commonly used distributions that have exponential asymptotic behavior. This heavy tail behavior may surprise flood managers and citizens, as human intuition tends to expect light tail behavior...
Preprint
Full-text available
There is serious concern that the hazard, or probability, of river floods is increasing over time. Starting from narratives that are sometimes discussed in public, the article addresses three hypotheses. The first suggests that land use changes, such as deforestation, urbanisation and soil compaction by agriculture, increase flood hazard. This revi...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change and agricultural intensification are expected to increase soil erosion and sediment production from arable land in many regions. However, to date, most studies have been based on short-term monitoring and/or modeling, making it difficult to assess their reliability in terms of estimating long-term changes. We present the results of a...
Article
Full-text available
This article reviews river flood generation processes and flow paths across space scales. The scale steps include the pore, profile, hillslope, catchment, regional and continental scales, representing a scale range of a total of 10 orders of magnitude. Although the processes differ between the scales, there are notable similarities. At all scales,...
Preprint
Full-text available
While conflict-and-cooperation phenomena in transboundary basins have been widely studied, much less work has been devoted to representing the process interactions in a quantitative way. This paper identifies the main factors in the riparian countries’ willingness to cooperate in the Eastern Nile River Basin, involving Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, f...
Article
Full-text available
The recent advances in remote sensing provide opportunities for estimating the parameters of conceptual hydrologic models more reliably. However, the question of whether and to what extent the use of satellite data in model calibration may assist in transferring model parameters to ungauged catchments has not been fully resolved. The aim of this st...
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Zusammenfassung Der vorliegende Beitrag beschreibt die Konzeption und die methodischen Schritte des Projekts HORA 3.0, in dem Hochwasserrisikoflächen für ganz Österreich berechnet wurden. Die Analyseschritte umfassen: Qualitätskontrolle und Korrektur des Gewässernetzes und der Einzugsgebietsgrenzen; Berechnung der Abflussscheitel und Frachten gegeb...
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A coincidence in the timing of floods and their drivers can be used as a proxy for the causality of flood generation. Here, we investigate the relationship between the seasonality of floods, maximum annual rainfall, and maximum annual soil moisture data of 886 basins in Brazil for 1980-2015 to shed light on process controls of flood generation. Flo...
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Studying the changes in extreme river runoff induced by climate change is of utmost importance, as the variability of floods directly affects life and human activities. This study examines the fluctuations and persistence of winter floods in 14 catchments in the Rika River Basin (Ukraine) and ten catchments in the Steyr River Basin (Austria). The c...
Article
Over the past years, numerous large events have demonstrated how exposed property and even human life are to natural hazards. Protection against natural hazards is therefore a key responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism (BMLRT). The insurance industry has also a vital interest in the provision of data on various n...
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Streamflow elasticity to precipitation, defined as the percent change of streamflow resulting from a 1% change in precipitation, is sometimes used as an alternative to rainfall‐runoff models in climate impact analyses. Elasticity is usually estimated from long streamflow and precipitation series aggregated at annual time steps while the climate imp...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article reviews river flood generation processes and flow paths across space scales. The scale steps include the pore, profile, hillslope, catchment, regional and continental scales, representing a scale range of a total of 10 orders of magnitude. Although the processes differ between the scales, there are notable similarities. At all scales,...
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In a recent editorial in the journal Nature Sustainability , the editors raised the concern that journal submissions on water studies appear too similar. The gist of the editorial: “too many publications and not enough ideas.” In this response, we contest this notion, and point to the numerous new ideas that result from taking a broader view of the...
Preprint
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Climate change and agricultural intensification are expected to increase soil erosion and sediment production from arable land in many regions. However, so far, most studies have been based on short-term monitoring and/or modeling, making it difficult to assess their reliability in terms of long-term changes. We present the results from a unique da...
Article
Full-text available
In 2009, the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN) was initiated as a community effort, funded by the European Space Agency, to serve as a centralised data hosting facility for globally available in situ soil moisture measurements (Dorigo et al., 2011b, a). The ISMN brings together in situ soil moisture measurements collected and freely shared...
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Many recent studies have sought to characterize variations of the annual maximum flood discharge series over time and across space in Europe, including some that have elucidated different process controls on different statistical properties of these series. To further support these studies, we conduct a pan-European assessment of process controls o...
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Increasing river floods and infrastructure development in many parts of the world have created an urgent need for accurate high-resolution flood hazard mapping for more efficient flood risk management. Mapping accuracy hinges on the quality of the underlying Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and other spatial datasets. This article presents a processing...
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Summer precipitation totals in the Alpine Region do not exhibit a systematic trend over the last 120 years. However, we find significant low frequency periodicity of interannual variability which occurs in synchronization with a dominant two-phase state of the atmospheric circulation over the Alps. Enhanced meridional flow increases precipitation v...
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Disastrous floods have caused millions of fatalities in the twentieth century, tens of billions of dollars of direct economic loss each year and serious disruption to global trade. In this Review, we provide a synthesis of the atmospheric, land surface and socio-economic processes that produce river floods with disastrous consequences. Disastrous f...
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The amount and composition of organic carbon are major controls on water quality and ecological processes in streams. In this study we explored the fate of the quantity of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and the composition of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in an agricultural hillslope - stream network system. We conducted our study in the 66 ha HOA...
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The aim of this paper is to explore how rainfall mechanisms and catchment characteristics shape the relationship between rainfall and flood probabilities. We propose a new approach of comparing intensity-duration-frequency statistics of maximum annual rainfall with those of maximum annual streamflow in order to infer the catchment behavior for runo...
Article
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Coupled hydrologic and hydraulic models represent powerful tools for simulating streamflow and water levels along the riverbed and in the floodplain. However, input data, model parameters, initial conditions, and model structure represent sources of uncertainty that affect the reliability and accuracy of flood forecasts. Assimilation of satellite-b...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding near-stream groundwater dynamics and flow directions is important for predicting hillslope-stream connectivity, streamflow generation, and hydrologic controls of streamwater quality. To determine the drivers of groundwater flow in the stream corridor (i.e., the stream channel and the adjacent groundwater in footslopes and riparian are...
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Plain Language Summary Changes in river floods are of worldwide concern due to their massive socio‐economic impacts. Understanding the reasons of changes in this hazard is a prerequisite for managing the associated risks efficiently. Potential reasons include climate change, river regulations and changing land management practices. In some countrie...
Article
Full-text available
Connectivity of the hillslope and the stream is a non-stationary and non-linear phenomenon dependent on many controls. The objective of this study is to identify these controls by examining the spatial and temporal patterns of the similarity between shallow groundwater and soil moisture dynamics and streamflow dynamics in the Hydrological Open Air...
Preprint
Full-text available
The recent advances in remote sensing provide opportunities for more reliably estimating the parameters of conceptual hydrologic models. However, the question of whether and to what extent the use of satellite data in model calibration may assist in transferring model parameters to ungauged catchments has not been fully resolved. The aim of this st...
Article
Full-text available
Recent advances in soil moisture remote sensing have produced satellite data sets with improved soil moisture mapping under vegetation and with higher spatial and temporal resolutions. In this study, we evaluate the potential of a new, experimental version of the Advanced Scatterometer (ASCAT) soil water index data set for multiple objective calibr...
Article
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown evidence of increasing and decreasing trends for average floods and flood quantiles across Europe. Studies attributing observed changes in flood peaks to their drivers have mostly focused on the average flood behaviour, without distinguishing small and large floods. This paper proposes a new framework for attributing flood...
Article
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In this study, the value of proxy data was explored for calibrating a conceptual hydrologic model for small ungauged basins, i.e. ungauged in terms of runoff. The study site was a 66 ha Austrian experimental catchment dominated by agricultural land use, the Hydrological Open Air Laboratory (HOAL). The three modules of a conceptual, lumped hydrologi...
Preprint
Full-text available
In 2009, the International Soil Moisture Network (ISMN) was initiated as a community effort, funded by the European Space Agency, to serve as a centralised data hosting facility for globally available in situ soil moisture measurements (Dorigo et al., 2011a, b). The ISMN brings together in situ soil moisture measurements collected and freely shared...
Article
Full-text available
Spatial cross-correlation among flood sequences impacts the accuracy of regional predictors. Our study investigates this impact for two regionalization procedures, generalized least squares (GLS) regression and top-kriging (TK), which deal with cross-correlation in two fundamentally different ways and therefore might be associated with different ac...
Preprint
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This paper analyses the spatial patterns and process controls of the mean annual flood (MAF), coefficient of variation (CV) and skewness (CS) of flood discharges in Europe. The data consist of maximum annual flood discharge series observed in 2370 catchments in Europe covering the period 1960–2010. On average, in Europe, the estimated moments MAF,...
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The dynamics of flood event characteristics, such as the runoff coefficient and the recession time constant, differ in time and space, due to differences in climate, geology, and runoff generation mechanisms. This study examines the variability of event runoff characteristics and relates them to climatic and hydro-geological characteristics availab...
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As we rapidly modify the environment around us, researchers have a critical role to play in raising our understanding of the interactions between people and the world in which they live. Knowledge and understanding of these interactions are essential for evidence based decision-making on resource use and risk management. In this paper, we explore t...
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Knowledge of the evaporation (E) and transpiration (T) components of evapotranspiration (ET) is important for ecohydrological modeling and agricultural productivity. The stable-isotope method offers the possibility to partition E and T due to the distinct differences in the isotopic signals of the sources. In this study, the concentration and isoto...
Article
Full-text available
As we rapidly modify the environment around us, researchers have a critical role to play in raising our understanding of the interactions between people and the world in which they live. Knowledge and understanding of these interactions are essential for evidence based decision-making on resource use and risk management. In this paper, we explore t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coupled hydrologic and hydraulic models represent powerful tools for simulating streamflow and water levels along the riverbed and in the floodplain. However, input data, model parameters, initial conditions and model structure represent sources of uncertainty that affect the reliability and accuracy of flood forecasts. Assimilation of satellite-ba...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent advances in soil moisture remote sensing have produced satellite datasets with improved soil moisture mapping under vegetation and with higher spatial and temporal resolutions. In this study, we evaluate the potential of a new, experimental version of the ASCAT Soil Water Index dataset for multiple objective calibration of a conceptual hydro...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent studies have shown evidence of increasing and decreasing trends in mean annual floods and flood quantiles across Europe. Studies attributing observed changes in flood peaks to their drivers have mostly focused on mean annual floods. This paper proposes a new framework for attributing flood changes to potential drivers, as a function of retur...
Preprint
Full-text available
Connectivity of the hillslope and the stream is a non stationary and non linear phenomenon dependent on many controls. The objective of this study is to identify these controls by examining the spatial and temporal patterns of the similarity between shallow groundwater and soil moisture dynamics and streamflow dynamics in the Hydrological Open Air...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study is to investigate the factors that control event runoff characteristics at the small catchment scale. The study area is the Hydrological Open Air Laboratory, Lower Austria. Event runoff coefficient (Rc), recession time constant (Tc) and peak discharge (Qp) are estimated from hourly discharge and precipitation data for 29...
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Several studies have shown that hydrological models do not perform well when applied to periods with climate conditions that differ from those during model calibration. This has important implications for the application of these models in climate change impact studies. The causes of the low transferability to changed climate conditions have, howev...