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  • WebSYHDA: an online platform for analysis of hydrological data

Status: Ongoing (since November 30th, 2019)

Coordinator: Samuel Beskow

Funding agency: Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS) – Edital FAPERGS 05/2019 – Programa Pesquisador Gaúcho (PqG)

The temporal representation of hydrological variables, such as annual average rainfall, annual average streamflow and daily evapotranspiration, makes it possible to organize hydrological series which have great scientific and practical applicability for water resources management, decision making related to water uses, and design of hydraulic structures. The handling of hydrological series is a quite common task for hydrologists and is usually performed with no specific softwares, resulting in a long time of processing and high risks of errors. More robust analyses founded on state-of-the-art techniques are usually unfeasible due to the non-existence/scarcity of specific softwares, limitations of spreadsheets, and limitations of hydrologists concerning programming languages. Although there are some softwares that facilitate the organization and analysis of hydrological series, and permit the development of laborious and repetitive tasks, they present several limitations. In view of such limitations, the Research Group on Hydrology and Hydrological Modeling in Watersheds developed the software named “System of Hydrological Data Acquisition and Analysis” (SYHDA), which was copyrighted in 2016 (Instituto Nacional de Propriedade Industrial – INPI). SYHDA has been used for countless studies conducted by the Research Group, namely: organization of hydrological series, at-site frequency analysis using theoretical probability density functions for series of heavy rainfall and flood, seasonality analysis of low and maximum streamflows in the context of hydrological regionalization, and regional flood frequency analysis using multiparameter probability density functions. Many of such analyses are considered state-of-the-art and culminated in articles published in high impact factor journals. Given the interest of worldwide users by the software and the developers intentions to include other techniques for data analyses, another programming language has been evaluated in order to develop a new version of SYHDA. In this context, the use of an interpreted programming language widely employed for professionals other than computer scientists can facilitate enhancements to SYHDA, and its availability and regular updates. It should be mentioned that this type of programming language allows developers to implement web applications. The technical, scientific and technological innovation characteristics of this research project should be stressed. This research project aims to develop a web platform in R programming language for SYHDA called WebSYHDA, including computational enhancements and new techniques for acquisition, organization and analysis of hydrological series. The methodological strategy for the development of WebSYHDA is also based on acquisition of hydrological data, organization of hydrological series and analyses. With respect to the acquisition of hydrological data, some algorithms will be coded to permit the importation of Brazilian hydrological databases (Hidroweb/ANA and BDMEP/INMET) into WebSYHDA. In addition, other functionalities will be programmed to allow the acquisition of hydrological data from other gauging stations; in this case, the validation will be performed considering data of the hydrological monitoring network owned by the Research Group. In this step, WebSYHDA will be programmed to export hydrological series and display hyetographs and hydrographs. The hydrological analyses will be available after the organization of the hydrological series of interest derived from the database imported to the platform. The hydrological analyses available in SYHDA will be adapted to WebSYHDA and many other functionalities will be implemented, such as: descriptive statistics, graphical representations, non-parametric tests, seasonality analysis, consistency of rainfall data, IDF equations, and at-site and regional frequency analysis. In order to provide a better presentation of the results of such hydrological analyses, dynamic reports will be structured on a webpage, with the possibility of exportation. It is expected that WebSYHDA will make possible the use of techniques still little employed in water resources to solve problems related to hydrologic engineering and water resources management, thus providing solutions more adequate in the context of environmental, economy and society. Furthermore, we intend to disseminate the use of WebSYHDA over the world, as some functionalities will be implemented to allow the importation and use of databases from any site in the world.


  • Hydrological and climatic modeling for estimation of streamflows in the transboundary Mirim-São Gonçalo basin


Status: Ongoing (since March of 2018)

Coordinator: Samuel Beskow

Funding agency: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Productivity Research Fellows PQ (Edital CNPq N 12/2017 – Bolsas de Produtividade em Pesquisa).

Climate changes can impact different components of the hydrological cycle, thus demonstrating relevance at global and watershed scales. At the watershed scale, climate changes might exert influence on streamflows, which depend greatly on the behavior of other hydrological processes (e.g. evapotranspiration and rainfall). Therefore, the analysis of future scenarios associated with climate changes is essential to support decision making in the context of water resources management of a given region and allow the planning of water use for different sectors. The integration of land use and climate change scenarios with hydrological modeling and remote sensing is of great importance to simulate the hydrological behavior of a watershed. The objective of this research project is to evaluate the impact of climate changes on the hydrological behavior of three subwatersheds of the transboundary Mirim-São Gonçalo basin, by using regional climate modeling, remote sensing for spatio-temporal identification of land uses, and a hydrological model named Lavras Simulation of Hydrology (LASH). All the analyses of this research project will be based on the Pelotas river watershed, Fragata river watershed, and Piratini river watershed, situated in southern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. LASH will be calibrated, validated  and assessed for the above-mentioned watersheds considering historical series related to streamflow and other meteorological variables as well as spatial information on topography, soils, and land uses Some remote sense techniques will be used to derive land use maps. Climate projections will be derived from a regional climate model referred to as Eta-HadGEM2-ES for the scenarios RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 from 2011 to 2100 (2011-2040, 2041-2070, and 2071-2100). Information extracted from projections of climate changes will be coupled with LASH so as to simulate water availability and its fluctuation for each subwatershed. It is expected that this project will contribute to the assessment of future impacts of climate changes in the transboundary Mirim-São Gonçalo basin. As a consequence, this project has potential to support water resources management in the transboundary Mirim-São Gonçalo basin, as the results can be used for decision making in different sectors.


  • The use of state-space models, wavelet and geostatistical analyses, and pedotransfer functions to assess the spatial variability of soil hydro-physical attributes at watershed scale 

Status: Ongoing (since October of 2017).

Coordinator: Luis Carlos Timm

Funding agency: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq)

The main objectives of this research project are to assess statistical tools from the Temporal/Spatial Series Analysis to quantify the spatial variability of soil and topographic attributes as well as to study their relationships in watersheds located in the Rio Grande do Sul state, Southern Brazil. The performance of selected Pedotransfer Functions (PTFs) will be also  evaluated. A 25 km-spatial transect was established in the Pelotas river watershed and an experimental grid was demarcated in the Ellert creek watershed. Undisturbed and disturbed soil samples were collected at each demarcated sampling point at both watersheds to determine soil hydro-physical and chemical attributes. Topographic attributes were obtained from digital elevation models and land-use maps were derived from satellite images. Classical statistics, Spatial series and Wavelet analyses will be used to quantify the spatial variability of each soil and topographic attribute as well as to study their relationships at watershed scale.  Selected PTFs to estimate soil hydrology attributes will be assessed.  It is expected to: i. quantify the spatial correlations between soil and topographic attributes at both watershed scales; and ii. select the best pedotransfer function(s) to estimate soil hydrology attributes at both watershed scales, and iii. provide an academic formation of a Doctor or Master in the theme involved in the project.


  • Vis–NIR reflectance in properties modeling and digital mapping of soils from the Preto river watershed – MG

Status: Ongoing

Coordinator: Fabricio da Silva Terra

Funding agency: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq). Productivity Research Fellows PQ

Soil survey and mapping works, mainly related to agricultural (chemical and physical), conservation, and hydrological management practices, demand knowledge about spatial variability of its attributes and taxonomic units for adequate recommendations of such practices. In this way, the main goal of this project is to develop a spectral library using vis–NIR reflectance spectroscopy (from 350 to 2500 nm) to characterize the spectral behavior and digitally map the soils of the Preto river watershed (Minas Gerais state, Brazil) and to model some indicator attributes of the physical-chemical quality of these soils.