The main research activities are related to Surface Water Hydrology and Geohydrology, within a civil engineering context.
River Basin Hydrology
The focus is on understanding, describing and modelling of rainfall-runoff processes in terms of runoff production and runoff routing in river basins. The research programme concentrates on the impact of land use and related underlying systems of reticulation. The challenge is to understand the role of different processes in generating runoff and to describe the components of the rainfall-runoff relation based on physical laws. The chair tries to develop innovative modelling tools that reflect the dominant processes in a catchment without introducing unnecessary complexity, and which can be used both as a learning tool for understanding how the catchment functions and as an instrument to predict catchment behaviour under changing circumstances.
Hydrology and water management in rural areas
On a local and regional scale in rural areas research in hydrology is focused on understanding, describing and modelling the water system as a whole, in relation to local meteorological conditions, soil conditions and land use. Both quantity (discharges, surface and groundwater levels) and quality (contamination, protection of surface and groundwater) are research items in the water system approach to maintain and improve economy of agricultures, environmental quality of soil and water, and hydro-ecological aspects in a sustainable way.
Hydrology of deltas
In hydrological terms, the Netherlands is a delta characterized by a flat topography, shallow aquifers, and low elevation, which is flood prone and sensitive to water logging, pollution and salt water intrusion. At the same time the delta is densely populated and a node of economic activities. The hydrological questions related to water (quality) management, drainage, flood protection, salt intrusion, land subsidence and hydro-ecology are important subjects of research.
Hydrology of Groundwater Systems
Groundwater in relation to different functions and users of groundwater; groundwater model development; groundwater-surface water interaction; groundwater-nature interaction; groundwater as a source for drinking water; salt water intrusion in coastal areas; protection of groundwater resources; recharge of groundwater; and the influence of subsurface flow on hill slope stability.
Earth observations for Water Resources Management