Seminar by Dr. Matthew Becker

Associate Professor, Department of Geology, University at Buffalo
Abstract There has been much discussion within the Hydrologic Sciences Branch about the need to better address ground water in models of terrestrial hydrology. Two important challenges must be met before ground water can be included in continental or global hydrologic models: (1) better data and (2) better predictive tools. Both of these challenges will be addressed in this talk; from the perspective of a hydrogeologist. I will review the history and potential of satellite remote sensing of ground water and the need for appropriate computational and data management tools. I will argue that a major roadblock is the difference in scale over which land surface and ground water processes occur. Land surface hydrologic events occur over minutes and hours, while ground water processes occur over weeks and months. Surface water / atmospheric water exchanges occur over the scale of kilometres, while ground water / surface water exchanges occur over the scale of meters. These scaling differences can be overcome, to some extent, through the use of flexible spatial data management and computational simulations.