delware environmental institute

May 3: Where does water go when it rains?: Watershed expert to present new data and innovative concepts

May 3: Where does water go when it rains?:  Watershed expert to present new data and innovative concepts

Jeffrey J. McDonnell, the 2011 Birdsall-Dreiss Lecturer of the Geological Society of America, will discuss his new ideas conceptualizing runoff processes in headwater catchments at a talk in Room 102, Delaware Biotechnology Institute, on Tuesday, May 3, at 2 p.m.

McDonnell is University Distinguished Professor of Hydrology, Richardson Chair of Watershed Sciences and director of the Institute for Water and Watersheds at Oregon State University.

Streamflow generation concepts have remained largely unchanged since the First International Hydrological Decade (1965–1974) despite numerous case studies from an ever-widening array of catchments. McDonnell’s talk examines the future of runoff conceptualization and advances a simple concept of subsurface "storage excess" and offers evidence in support of storage excess using field data from catchments distributed across a wide array of climate, geology, vegetation, and topographic conditions. These data show subsurface storage filling and then spilling is a simple concept that makes sense across many scales and may help explain runoff amount and timing, geographic and time source components, and residence time. (full article)