Hydrology and Climatology
In our department we link basic research in physical geography, climatology and hydrology with interdisciplinary and application-oriented research questions. Basic research mainly focuses on the analysis of natural systems and processes. Special emphasis is on the water and energy fluxes at the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interface. This includes a variety of interrelationships that go far beyond disciplinary research, for example:
- the impacts of anthropogenic disturbances on the sensitive interactions between permafrost, soil hydrological processes and water availability of forests, or
- the effects of vegetation and land-use on the regional climatic conditions and the water fluxes of landscapes in different environments of the Earth
For this purpose we conduct field investigations with a variety of scientific instruments
Regarding our methods, we place emphasis on the development and application of simulation tools, as for example the hydrological model TRAIN or the land-use development tool LADEMO. The further refinement and calibration of the different models is based on improved process understanding and new data obtained during field experiments. In this context analyses based on remote sensing increasingly gain importance, for example the spatial and temporal development of snow and vegetation cover derived from individual satellite shots.
Our projects encompass a wide field of basic and application-oriented research. The main focus is on:
- the survey and the modeling of the water availability in semi-arid and arid as well as cold regions on Earth
- the assessment of the effects of climatic variability and land-use change on the elements of the water cycle and the heat budget of different landscapes
- an investigation of the processes during the development of hydrological extremes
The International Conference on Snow Hydrology (SnowHydro2018) will take place in Heidelberg (Germany), at the Department of Geography at Heidelberg University, from Monday 12 February to Thursday 15 February 2018.