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Henry Darcy Medal 2024 Alberto Guadagnini

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European Geosciences Union

Alberto Guadagnini

Alberto Guadagnini
Alberto Guadagnini

The 2024 Henry Darcy Medal is awarded to Alberto Guadagnini for his advancements in the frontiers of hydrology through development and application of quantitative, process-based, flow and chemical transport models in subsurface water bodies under uncertainty.

Alberto Guadagnini’s work has addressed a broad number of topics within the general framework of flow and transport in the subsurface. These range from stochastic hydrology to multiphase flow and transport, water and energy resources in the subsurface, and reactive transport, among others. He is well recognised for his work on the inclusion of uncertainty in conceptual and quantitative models, leading to the development of robust and efficient theoretical and computational approaches to quantify flow and conservative/reactive transport in aquifers. These approaches are combined within a rigorous stochastic framework to address uncertainty across multiple scales and processes. The results enable quantification of how key statistics and the entire probability distribution of a target variable change with scale, including the assessment of transferability of uncertainty to other scales of interest.

Alberto Guadagnini further integrated a range of modelling approaches to characterise flow and solute transport in aquifer systems within a unique framework for model evaluation and data interpretation. His unique approach merges parallel streams of research (model formulation, reduction, calibration, modern sensitivity analysis and uncertainty quantification, and model discrimination) to guide the assessment of the relative benefit of applying any particular model from a set of available models as well as to quantify the importance of the associated parameters and guide data collection. The ensuing operational workflow is complemented through the construction of reduced (surrogate) models that have the additional benefit of enabling sensitivity analysis and stochastic model calibration at a highly reduced computational cost.

His works have had a marked and documented impact on management of groundwater resources under uncertainty and subject to various uses. They offer reference methods for quantification of (a) protection regions related to drinking wells and natural springs; (b) the quality status of large-scale aquifers; and © environmental risk assessment associated with conventional and unconventional subsurface energy resources and their interaction with groundwater bodies, providing modern, intuitive (while rigorous) tools. He has demonstrated application of his research to aquifer systems in Italy, providing probabilistically-based groundwater resources management concepts and tools to be used by local administrations.

Alberto Guadagnini is not only a recognised international leader in hydrological sciences and education. He is also a key asset to the scientific community, in his role as Editor-in-Chief of the Hydrology and Earth System Science journal, membership of various editorial boards, and with leading positions in professional societies.