Seminar: Envisioning a Sustainable Future: Leveraging Hydro-modeling and Geospatial Information for Advanced Prediction of Hydrologic Extremes Across Scales


Both floods and droughts are projected to intensify in the coming decades due to climate change. These increasingly polarized, climatic extremes require unprecedented effort to advance our understanding on terrestrial water dynamics and develop new research tools. This talk introduces several research efforts that advance the understanding of hydrometeorological and hydroclimatic processes under climate change as well as bring research into practice. First, Landsat imagery was utilized to examine river dynamics at 30-meter resolution anywhere globally during the past four decades. Based on long-term remote sensing observations, we investigate the ‘levee effect’ -  the role of levee construction in mitigating flood hazards while creating a false sense of security and lowering people’s awareness of the residual flood risk. Besides remote sensing, hydro-modeling enables us to study hydrologic drought with respect to the drying of non-perennial, headwater streams. On the opposite end of the hydrologic spectrum, flash floods are investigated in two projects 1) estimating frequency and duration of flash floods over CONUS and 2) predicting change in flash floods under a warming climate. Overall, the presented research jointly utilizes physically based numerical models, remote sensing observations, and statistical/artificial intelligence (AI) tools, demonstrating new promises to meet the challenges from climate change.

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Shang Gao, Assistant Professor, UA SNRE


3 p.m. Sept. 26, 2023