Novel remote sensing, monitoring, tracer and model techniques for Water Security and Climate Change


Environmental (land cover and climate change) and socio-economic (population growth, economic development, etc) change causes perturbations to natural and anthropogenic ecosystems that are susceptible to more frequent and severe droughts and periods of extreme intense rainfall events. This results in extreme spatial and temporal uncertainties, including unpredictable patterns in soil moisture replenishment and groundwater recharge, in local, regional and global water, carbon and nutrient cycles crucial for resources management. This current environmental variability and projected future changes together with local hydro(geo)logical, geomorphological, and ecosystem factors are directly influencing the water quality and quantity particularly in years where resource availability is below normal. In order to assess and foresee soil-plant-atmosphere interactions and dynamics to increase resilience of resource management systems, we need modelling and novel observational techniques that are based upon but go beyond routine hydrometric measurements. For example, environmental and artificial tracer techniques allow to study source partitioning, transit and residence times and provide additional data for model testing. Novel remote sensing products made freely available now provide the opportunity to work at large spatial scales particularly in data scarce regions. Both methods together and incorporated in novel modelling approaches might help to enhance our understanding of current and future water security trends.

We therefore, invite field experimentalists and modellers who work with tracers, remote sensing products and models at the soil-plant-atmosphere interphase for water security and climate change assessments to present their research on:

  • Innovative observational techniques using sensors, hydrochemical and stable isotope tracers, plot and monitoring networks, citizen science, radars, and unmanned aerial vehicles;
  • Modelling studies that use novel theories and data developed and applied to ecosystems for a better understanding of the water fluxes from the plot to regional scales.
  • Studies that show the benefit of these novel methods as tools to improve water security and to study climate change.

Hosted by

Christian Birkel

Professor – University of Costa Rica Department of Geography – Water and Global Change Observatory