Robert A. Lamb


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A history of TOPMODEL
Keith Beven, M. J. Kirkby, Jim Freer, Robert A. Lamb
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, Volume 25, Issue 2

Abstract. The theory that forms the basis of TOPMODEL (a topography-based hydrological model) was first outlined by Mike Kirkby some 45 years ago. This paper recalls some of the early developments, the rejection of the first journal paper, the early days of digital terrain analysis, model calibration and validation, the various criticisms of the simplifying assumptions, and the relaxation of those assumptions in the dynamic forms of TOPMODEL. A final section addresses the question of what might be done now in seeking a simple, parametrically parsimonious model of hillslope and small catchment processes if we were starting again.


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Developing observational methods to drive future hydrological science: Can we make a start as a community?
Keith Beven, Anita Asadullah, Paul Bates, Eleanor Blyth, Nick A. Chappell, Stewart Child, Hannah Cloke, Simon Dadson, Nick Everard, Hayley J. Fowler, Jim Freer, David M. Hannah, Kate Heppell, Joseph Holden, Robert A. Lamb, Huw Lewis, Gerald Morgan, Louise Parry, Thorsten Wagener
Hydrological Processes, Volume 34, Issue 3

Hydrology is still, and for good reasons, an inexact science, even if evolving hydrological understanding has provided a basis for improved water management for at least the last three millennia. The limitations of that understanding have, however, become much more apparent and important in the last century as the pressures of increasing populations, and the anthropogenic impacts on catchment forcing and responses, have intensified. At the same time, the sophistication of hydrological analyses and models has been developing rapidly, often driven more by the availability of computational power and geographical data sets than any real increases in understanding of hydrological processes. This sophistication has created an illusion of real progress but a case can be made that we are still rather muddling along, limited by the significant uncertainties in hydrological observations, knowledge of catchment characteristics and related gaps in conceptual understanding, particularly of the sub-surface. These knowledge gaps are illustrated by the fact that for many catchments we cannot close the water balance without significant uncertainty, uncertainty that is often neglected in evaluating models for practical applications.