A/Professor Valentijn Pauwels

A/Professor Valentijn Pauwels

Head of Water Engineering, Associate Professor in Water Engineering
Department of Civil Engineering
Room 123, 23 College Walk (B60), Clayton Campus

Valentijn is an excellent scientist with a broad knowledge on land – atmosphere modeling, hydrological modeling, remote sensing and scientific computing including software development in a variety of programming languages.



  • Masters of Science (M.S.c), Agricultural Engineering, Ghent University
  • Masters of Arts ( M.A), Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University
  • Doctor of Philosopy (Ph.D),Civil Engineering and Operations Research, Princeton University

Professional Association:

American Geophysical Union (AGU).

European Geosciences Union (EGU).

Research Interests

  • Modeling of land-surface processes
  • Hydrologic model development
  • Data assimilation
  • Model parameter estimation
  • Hydraulic ground water theory
  • Measurement of hydrologic variables across different scales

Research Projects

Not started projects

Improving flood forecast skill using remote sensing data

Floods are among the most damaging of natural disasters in Australia, amounting to an average cost of $377 Million annually (Geoscience Australia). A crucial element in the minimization of the cost of floods is accurate and timely warnings. A reliable flood forecasting system is the basis of these warnings. In general, these systems suffer from the drawback of a lack of field data to implement the models, to calibrate the model parameters and to on-line constrain their results. On the other hand, significant progress is being made on the availability and quality advances of remotely sensed data. In this project, we will develop a strategy to optimally use remote sensing data to reduce the predictive uncertainty of flood forecasting systems.

Numerical simulation of damage mitigation strategies for flash floods

CSIRO_DA: Assimilating remote sensing (RS) data into next-generation hydrogeological models

Current projects

A novel and theoretically consistent method for correcting systematic errors in earth observation data and earth system model results

For a correct interpretation of satellite-based earth observation data and/or earth system model results, it is very important that these data are free of systematic errors, commonly referred to as bias. It is well known that both these data sources are prone to a significant bias, which is currently neglected in many environmental impact and prediction studies. This proposal will present a method to develop models for these biases. A state update technique, the Ensemble Kalman Filter, will be adapted to correctly take into account bias in the merging of the two data sources. The project outcomes will be of high importance for long-term environmental studies, since these strongly rely on physically-based models and remote sensing data.

Past projects

On-line Murrumbidgee Catchment Soil Moisture Content Data to Aid Local Farmers

Forecasting drought impacts months ahead using satellite data

Skillful seasonal water and crop forecasts could do much to help cope with drought and water-related food crises. Recent advances in hydrological modelling and satellite remote sensing of surface soil moisture, landscape water storage and vegetation biomass have created a great opportunity to produce such forecasts over large areas. This project will exploit that opportunity by assimilating the satellite observations into a global water and vegetation forecasting model. The resulting improvement in seasonal forecasts of steam flow, soil moisture and crop production will be quantified and compared to the limited forecasts that are currently available.

Social-Technical Food Resilience in Water Sensitive Cities - quantitative spatio-temporal flood risk modelling in an urban context


A comparison of the discrete cosine and wavelet transforms for hydrologic model input data reduction

Wright, A., Walker, J. P.Robertson, D. E. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 27 Jul 2017 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 21, 7, p. 3827-3838 12 p.

Estimating rainfall time series and model parameter distributions using model data reduction and inversion techniques

Wright, A. J., Walker, J. P. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 13 Jul 2017 In : Water Resources Research.

The evolution of process-based hydrologic models: Historical challenges and the collective quest for physical realism

Clark, M. P., Bierkens, M. F. P., Samaniego, L., Woods, R. A., Uijlenhoet, R., Bennett, K. E., Pauwels, V. R. N., Cai, X., Wood, A. W. & Peters-Lidard, C. D. 11 Jul 2017 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 21, 7, p. 3427-3440 14 p.

Improved water balance component estimates through joint assimilation of GRACE water storage and SMOS soil moisture retrievals

Tian, S., Tregoning, P., Renzullo, L. J., van Dijk, A. I. J. M., Walker, J. P.Pauwels, V. R. N. & Allgeyer, S. 1 Mar 2017 In : Water Resources Research. 53, 3, p. 1820-1840 21 p.


Advantages of analytically computing the ground heat flux in land surface models

Pauwels, V. R. N. & Daly, E. 24 Nov 2016 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 20, 11, p. 4689-4706 18 p.

Assimilation of SMOS soil moisture and brightness temperature products into a land surface model

Lievens, H., De Lannoy, G. J. M., Al Bitar, A., Drusch, M., Dumedah, G., Hendricks Franssen, H-J., Kerr, Y. H., Tomer, S. K., Martens, B., Merlin, O., Pan, M., Roundy, J. K., Vereecken, H., Walker, J. P., Wood, E. F., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 1 Jul 2016 In : Remote Sensing of Environment. 180, p. 292-304 13 p.

Application of remote sensing data to constrain operational rainfall-driven flood forecasting: A review

Li, Y.Grimaldi, S.Walker, J. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 28 May 2016 In : Remote Sensing. 8, 6, p. 1 – 29 29 p.

Remote sensing-derived water extent and level to constrain hydraulic flood forecasting models: Opportunities and challenges

Grimaldi, S.Li, Y.Pauwels, V. R. N. & Walker, J. P. 2016 In : Surveys in Geophysics. 37, 5, p. 977 – 1034 58 p.


Error covariance calculation for forecast bias estimation in hydrologic data assimilation

Pauwels, V. R. N. & De Lannoy, G. J. M. 1 Dec 2015 In : Advances in Water Resources. 86, p. 284 – 296 13 p.

Water balance of a lake with floodplain buffering: Lake Tana, Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia

Dessie, M., Verhoest, N. E. C., Pauwels, V. R. N., Adgo, E., Deckers, J. A., Poesen, J. & Nyssen, J. Mar 2015 In : Journal of Hydrology.522, p. 174 – 186 13 p.

A comparison of optical and microwave scintillometers with eddy covariance derived surface heat fluxes

Yee, M. S., Pauwels, V. R. N.Daly, E., Beringer, J., Rudiger, C., McCabe, M. F. & Walker, J. P. 2015 In : Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. 213, p. 226 – 239 14 p.

Copula-based downscaling of coarse-scale soil moisture observations with implicit bias correction

Verhoest, N. E. C., van den Berg, M. J., Martens, B., Lievens, H., Wood, E. F., Pan, M., Kerr, Y. H., Al Bitar, A., Tomer, S. K., Drusch, M., Vernieuwe, H., De Baets, B., Walker, J., Dumedah, G. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2015 In : IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 53, 6, p. 3507 – 3521 15 p.

On the significance of crop-type information for the simulation of catchment hydrology

Loosvelt, L., Pauwels, V. R. N. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2015 In : Hydrological Processes. 29, 6, p. 915 – 926 12 p.

Optimization of a radiative transfer forward operator for simulating SMOS brightness temperatures over the Upper Mississippi Basin

Lievens, H., Al Bitar, A., Verhoest, N. E. C., Cabot, F., De Lannoy, G. J. M., Drusch, M., Dumedah, G., Hendricks Franssen, H-J., Kerr, Y. H., Tomer, S. K., Martens, B., Merlin, O., Pan, M., van den Berg, M. J., Vereecken, H., Walker, J. P., Wood, E. F. & Pauwels, V. R. N.2015 In : Journal of Hydrometeorology. 16, 3, p. 1109 – 1134 26 p.

SMOS soil moisture assimilation for improved hydrologic simulation in the Murray Darling Basin, Australia

Lievens, H., Tomer, S. K., Al Bitar, A., De Lannoy, G. J. M., Drusch, M., Dumedah, G., Hendricks Franssen, H-J., Kerr, Y. H., Martens, B., Pan, M., Roundy, J. K., Vereecken, H., Walker, J. P., Wood, E. F., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2015 In : Remote Sensing of Environment. 168, p. 146 – 162 17 p.

Towards operational hydrological model calibration using streamflow and soil moisture measurements

Zhang, Y., Li, Y.Walker, J.Pauwels, V. R. N. & Shahrban, M. 2015 MODSIM2015, 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Weber, T., McPhee, M. J. & Anderssen, R. S. (eds.). Canberra ACT Australia: Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand Inc., p. 2089 – 2095 7 p.


Analyzing runoff processes through conceptual hydrological modeling in the Upper Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia

Dessie, M., Verhoest, N. E. C., Pauwels, V. R. N., Admasu, T., Poesen, J., Adgo, E., Deckers, J. A. & Nyssen, J. 2014 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 18, 12, p. 5149 – 5167 19 p.

Assessing hydrologic prediction uncertainty resulting from soft land cover classification

Loosvelt, L., De Baets, B., Pauwels, V. R. N. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2014 In : Journal of Hydrology. 517, p. 411 – 424 14 p.

Effects of the floodplain on river discharge into Lake Tana (Ethiopia)

Dessie, M., Verhoest, N. E. C., Admasu, T., Pauwels, V. R. N., Poesen, J., Adgo, E., Deckers, J. A. & Nyssen, J. 2014 In : Journal of Hydrology. 519, Part A, p. 699 – 710 12 p.


Assessment of the indirect calibration of a rainfall-runoff model for ungauged catchments in Flanders

De Vleeschouwer, N. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2013 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 17, 5, p. 2001 – 2016 16 p.

Global calibration of the GEOS-5 L-Band microwave radiative transfer model over nonfrozen land using SMOS observations

De Lannoy, G., Reichle, R. H. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2013 In : Journal of Hydrometeorology. 14, 3, p. 765 – 785 21 p.

Impact of potential and (scintillometer-based) actual evapotranspiration estimates on the performance of a lumped rainfall-runoff model

Samain, B. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2013 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 17, 11, p. 4525 – 4540 16 p.

Improving particle filters in rainfall-runoff models: application of the resample-move step and the ensemble Gaussian particle filter

Plaza Guingla, D., De Keyser, R., De Lannoy, G., Giustarini, L., Matgen, P. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2013 In : Water Resources Research.49, 7, p. 4005 – 4021 17 p.

Local sensitivity analysis for compositional data with application to soil texture in hydrologic modelling

Loosvelt, L., Vernieuwe, H., Pauwels, V. R. N., De Baets, B. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2013 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 17, 2, p. 461 – 478 18 p.

Simultaneous estimation of model state variables and observation and forecast biases using a two-stage hybrid Kalman filter

Pauwels, V. R. N., De Lannoy, G., Hendricks Frassen, H. J. & Vereecken, H. 2013 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 17, 9, p. 3499 – 3521 23 p.

The importance of hydraulic groundwater theory in catchment hydrology: the legacy of Wilfried Brutsaert and Jean-Yves Parlange

Troch, P. A., Berne, A., Bogaart, P., Harman, C., Hilberts, A., Lyon, S., Paniconi, C., Pauwels, V. R. N., Rupp, D., Selker, J., Teuling, A. J., Uijlenhoet, R. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2013 In : Water Resources Research. 49, 9, p. 5099 – 5116 18 p.


Can ASCAT-derived soil wetness indices reduce predictive uncertainty in well-gauged areas? A comparison with in situ observed soil moisture in an assimilation application

Matgen, P., Fenicia, F., Heitz, S., Plaza, D., De Keyser, R., Pauwels, V., Wagner, W. & Savenije, H. 2012 In : Advances in Water Resources. 44, p. 49 – 65 17 p.

Consistency between hydrological model, large aperture scintillometer and remote sensing based evapotranspiration estimates for a heterogeneous catchment

Samain, B., Simons, G. W. H., Voogt, M. P., Defloor, W., Bink, N. J. & Pauwels, V. 2012 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 16, 7, p. 2095 – 2107 13 p.

Continuous time series of catchment-averaged sensible heat flux from a large aperture scintillometer: efficient estimation of stability conditions and importance of fluxes under stable conditions

Samain, B., Defloor, W. & Pauwels, V. 2012 In : Journal of Hydrometeorology. 13, 2, p. 423 – 442 20 p.

Mulitivariate and multiscale data assimilation in terrestrial systems: a review

Montzka, C., Pauwels, V. R. N., Hendricks Franssen, H-J., Han, X. & Vereecken, H. 2012 In : Sensors. 12, p. 16291 – 16333 43 p.

Multiscale assimilation of advanced microwave scanning radiometer-EOS snow water equivalent and moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer snow cover fraction observations in northern Colorado

De Lannoy, G., Reichle, R. H., Arsenault, K., Houser, P. R., Kumar, S., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2012 In : Water Resources Research. 48, p. 1 – 17 17 p.

The importance of parameter resampling for soil moisture data assimilation into hydrologic models using the particle filter

Plaza, D., De Keyser, R., De Lannoy, G., Giustarini, L., Matgen, P. & Pauwels, V. 2012 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 16, 2, p. 375 – 390 16 p.


Assimilating SAR-derived water level data into a hydraulic model: a case study

Giustarini, L., Matgen, P., Hostache, R., Montanari, M., Plaza, D., Pauwels, V., De Lannoy, G., De Keyser, R., Pfister, L., Hoffman, L. & Savenije, H. 2011 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 15, 7, p. 2349 – 2365 17 p.

Crop classification using short-revisit multitemporal SAR data

Skriver, H., Mattia, F., Satalino, G., Balenzaro, A., Pauwels, V., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Davidson, M. 2011 In : IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. 4, 2, p. 423 – 431 9 p.

Estimation of catchment averaged sensible heat fluxes using a large aperture scintillometer

Samain, B., Ferket, B. V. A., Defloor, W. & Pauwels, V. 2011 In : Water Resources Research. 47, p. 1 – 17 17 p.

Estimation of the spatially distributed surface energy budget for agriSAR 2006, Part 1: remote sensing model intercomparison

Timmermans, W., Jimenez-Munoz, J-C., Hidalgo, V., Richter, K., Sobrino, J. A., d’Urso, G., Satalino, G., Mattia, F., De Lathauwer, E. & Pauwels, V. 2011 In : IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. 4, 2, p. 465 – 481 17 p.

Estimation of the spatially distributed surface energy budget for agriSAR 2006, Part II: integration of remote sensing and hydrologic modeling

De Lathauwer, E., Timmermans, W., Satalino, G., Mattia, F., Loew, A., Jimenez-Munoz, J-C., Hidalgo, V., Sobrino, J. A. & Pauwels, V.2011 In : IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. 4, 2, p. 482 – 493 12 p.

Impact of soil hydraulic parameter uncertainty on soil moisture modeling

Loosvelt, L., Pauwels, V., Cornelis, W. M., De Lannoy, G. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2011 In : Water Resources Research. 47, p. 1 – 16 16 p.

Integrating coarse-scale uncertain soil moisture data into a fine-scale hydrological modelling scenario

Vernieuwe, V., De Baets, B., Minet, J., Pauwels, V., Lambot, S., Vanclooster, M. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2011 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 15, 10, p. 3101 – 3114 14 p.

Multivariate calibration of a water and energy balance model in the spectral domain

Pauwels, V. & De Lannoy, G. 2011 In : Water Resources Research. 47, p. 1 – 19 19 p.


Comparison of spectral and time domain calibration methods for precipitation-discharge processes

Quets, J. J., De Lannoy, G. & Pauwels, V. R. N. 2010 In : Hydrological Processes. 24, 8, p. 1048 – 1062 15 p.

Estimation of aquifer lower layer hydraulic conductivity values through base flow hydrograph rising limb analysis

Pauwels, V. R. N. & Troch, P. A. 2010 In : Water Resources Research. 46, 3, p. 1 – 19 19 p.

Internal validation of conceptual rainfall-runoff models using baseflow separation

Ferket, B. V. A., Samain, B. & Pauwels, V. 2010 In : Journal of Hydrology. 381, 1-2, p. 158 – 173 16 p.

Satellite-scale snow water equivalent assimilation into a high-resolution land surface model

De Lannoy, G., Reichle, R. H., Houser, P. R., Arsenault, K., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Pauwels, V. 2010 In : Journal of Hydrometeorology.11, 2, p. 352 – 369 18 p.

Towards the sequential assimilation of SAR-derived water stages into hydraulic models using the particle filter: proof of concept

Matgen, P., Montanari, M., Hostache, R., Pfister, L., Hoffman, L., Plaza, D., Pauwels, V., De Lannoy, G., De Keyser, R. & Savenije, H. 2010 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 14, 9, p. 1773 – 1785 13 p.


Adaptive soil moisture profile filtering for horizontal information propagation in the independent column-based CLM2.0

De Lannoy, G., Houser, P. R., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Pauwels, V. 2009 In : Journal of Hydrometeorology. 10, 3, p. 766 – 779 14 p.

Calibration of a water and energy balance model: Recursive parameter estimation versus particle swarm optimization

Scheerlinck, K., Pauwels, V., Vernieuwe, V. & De Baets, B. 2009 In : Water Resources Research. 45, p. 1 – 22 22 p.

Climate and vegetation water use efficiency at catchment scales

Troch, P. A., Martinez, G. F., Pauwels, V., Durcik, M., Sivapalan, M., Harman, C., Brooks, P. D., Gupta, H. V. & Huxman, T. 2009 In : Hydrological Processes. 23, 16, p. 2409 – 2414 6 p.

Ensemble-based assimilation of discharge into rainfall-runoff models: A comparison of approaches to mapping observational information to state space

Pauwels, V. & De Lannoy, G. 2009 In : Water Resources Research. 45, p. 1 – 17 17 p.

Optimization of soil hydraulic model parameters using synthetic aperture radar data: An integrated multidisciplinary approach

Pauwels, V., Balenzano, A., Satalino, G., Skriver, H., Verhoest, N. E. C. & Mattia, F. 2009 In : IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing. 47, 2, p. 455 – 467 13 p.

Soil moisture retrieval through a merging of multi-temporal L-band SAR data and hydrologic modelling

Mattia, F., Satalino, G., Pauwels, V. & Loew, A. 2009 In : Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 13, 3, p. 343 – 356 14 p.


A multistart weight-adaptive recursive parameter estimation method

Pauwels, V. 2008 In : Water Resources Research. 44, 4, p. 1 – 19 19 p.

Calibration and multiple data set-based validation of a land surface model in a mountainous Mediterranean study area

Usuga Loaiza, J. C. & Pauwels, V. 2008 In : Journal of Hydrology. 356, 1-2, p. 223 – 233 11 p.

Comparison of the estimated water and energy budgets of a large winter wheat field during AgriSAR 2006 by multpile sensors and models

Pauwels, V., Timmermans, W. & Loew, A. 2008 In : Journal of Hydrology. 349, 3-4, p. 425 – 440 16 p.


Correcting for forecast bias in soil moisture assimilation with the ensemble Kalman filter

De Lannoy, G., Reichle, R. H., Houser, P. R., Pauwels, V. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2007 In : Water Resources Research. 43, 9, p. 1 – 1414 p.

Improvement of the PEST parameter estimation algorithm through extended Kalman filtering

Goegebeur, M. & Pauwels, V. 2007 In : Journal of Hydrology. 337, 3-4, p. 436 – 451 16 p.

Optimization of a coupled hydrology-crop growth model through the assimilation of observed soil moisture and leaf area index values using an ensemble Kalman filter

Pauwels, V., Verhoest, N. E. C., De Lannoy, G., Guissard, V., Lucau, C. & Defourny, P. 2007 In : Water Resources Research. 43, 4, p. 1 – 17 17 p.

State and bias estimation for soil moisture profiles by an ensemble Kalman filter: Effect of assimilation depth and frequency

De Lannoy, G., Houser, P. R., Pauwels, V. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2007 In : Water Resources Research. 43, 6, p. 1 – 15 15 p.

Upscaling of point soil moisture measurements to field averages at the OPE3 test site

De Lannoy, G., Houser, P. R., Verhoest, N. E. C., Pauwels, V. & Gish, T. J. 2007 In : Journal of Hydrology. 343, 1-2, p. 1 – 11 11 p.


Assessment of model uncertainty for soil moisture through ensemble verification

De Lannoy, G., Houser, P. R., Pauwels, V. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2006 In : Journal of Geophysical Research. 111, D10, p. 1 – 18 18 p.

Comparison of different methods to measure and model actual evapotranspiration rates for a wet sloping grassland

Pauwels, V. & Samson, R. 2006 In : Agricultural Water Management. 82, 1-2, p. 1 – 24 24 p.

Improvement of modeled soil wetness conditions and turbulent fluxes through the assimilation of observed discharge

Pauwels, V. & De Lannoy, G. 2006 In : Journal of Hydrometeorology. 7, 3, p. 458 – 477 20 p.


A base flow separation algorithm based on the linearized Boussinesq equation for complex hillslopes

Huyck, A. A. O., Pauwels, V. & Verhoest, N. E. C. 2005 In : Water Resources Research. 41, 8, p. 1 – 18 18 p.

Comparison of data-driven Takagi-Sugeno models of rainfall-discharge dynamics

Vernieuwe, H., Georgieva, O., De Baets, B., Pauwels, V., Verhoest, N. E. C. & De Troch, F. P. 2005 In : Journal of Hydrology. 302, 1-4, p. 173 – 186 14 p.


Water table profiles and discharges for an inclined ditch-drained aquifer under temporally variable recharge

Pauwels, V., Verhoest, N. E. C. & De Troch, F. P. 2003 In : Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering – ASCE. 129, 2, p. 93 – 997 p.


Teaching Commitments

  • CIV3204 - Engineering investigation.
  • CIV3248 - Groundwater and environmental geomechanics.
Last modified: 17/03/2020