Sensing hydrological processes at different spatial and temporal scales for sustainable use of water resources


Gabriele Baroni

Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Italy

Flavia Tauro

Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Italy


Increasing population and climate change are providing stronger pressure on water resources and agro-environmental systems. In the last decades, more and more sophisticated processing and modelling tools have been developed to support water management. Yet, improving hydrological observations is still recognized as a crucial step (i) for the understanding of the complex feedback processes between compartments and (ii) to provide effective adaptation strategies at different spatial and temporal scales. The aim of this special session is to bring together new and advanced experiences on sensing technologies to improve our capability to monitor and understand hydrological processes with particular emphasis on agro-environmental systems, drought and irrigation, flood and drainage, landslide and watershed protection.


Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Innovative weather observations (e.g., microwave links)
  • Non-invasive and intermediate soil moisture estimation (e.g., gamma-ray spectrometer, cosmic-ray neutron sensing, GNSS, gravimetry, resistivity tomography, EMI, ground penetration radar)
  • Innovative river discharge estimation and flow measurements (e.g., image velocimetry and unmanned aerial vehicle)
  • Citizen science for hydrological observations
  • Data fusion for in-situ data, proximal and remote sensing
  • Integration of data and agro-hydrological models, data assimilation


Gabriele Baroni is Associate professor at the Department of Agricultural and food sciences, University of Bologna (Italy). He graduated in Environmental Sciences in 2004 at the University of Milan (Italy) and he obtained the PhD in Agricultural Engineering at the same University in 2007. After a few years as research fellow, he moved in 2010 to Germany where he worked as a post-doc at the University of Potsdam (Germany) and at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research - UFZ (Leipzig, Germany). In 2019 he earned the associate professor position at the University of Bologna (Italy).
Gabriele Baroni works in the field of soil hydrology and agricultural water management. His research focuses on monitoring and modelling soil-plant-systems at different spatial scales and on integrated plan and management of the water resources. Currently he is developing and testing innovative geo-physical sensors as a new basis for land-surface observations and working on uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for supporting process understanding and model improvements.

Flavia Tauro is Assistant Professor with tenure at the University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy. She received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Environmental Engineering from "Sapienza" University of Rome, Italy, in 2007 and 2009, respectively, and her M. Eng. degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, in 2009. In 2014 she graduated with a Ph.D. in Hydrology from "Sapienza" University of Rome and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from New York University Tandon School of Engineering. She was the recipient of the 2013 American Geophysical Union Horton (Hydrology) Award; the 2014 Gruppo Italiano di Idraulica (Gii) Award for Doctoral Thesis in Water Engineering; and the 2019 International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) Early Career Scientist Award.
Flavia's research interests entail the design and creation of innovative systems to sense the hydrological cycle. She was among the first researchers to integrate image analysis techniques with unmanned aerial systems technology and furthered a range of fully noninvasive measurement systems for surface flow observations. Since 2015, she is serving as Chair of the Measurements and Observations in the XXI Century (MOXXI) working group of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.

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