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Andrea Rinaldo

Andrea Rinaldo
Andrea Rinaldo

The 2005 John Dalton Medal is awarded to Andrea Rinaldo for his outstanding contributions to the science of hydrology and particularly the relation with fluvial, tidal and eco-geomorphology.

Professor Andrea Rinaldo is an eminent researcher who made outstanding contributions to the science of hydrology. Andrea has covered an exceptionally wide range of research topics within hydrology and Earth’s system science, such as transport processes in the hydrologic cycle, fluvial geomorphology, tidal geomorphology and dynamics and eco-geomorphological studies in coastal and marine systems. His research achievements in all these fields are outstanding. His path-breaking work in the areas of transport of solutes in porous formations and of hydrogeomorphology may best serve to illustrate his exceptional contributions to hydrology. In the first area Andrea, with students and collaborators, has provided original theoretical formulations, solutions and high accuracy numerical studies of the stochastic transport equation which are now a reference in the field. Of great interest in this area is also his development with Alberto Bellin and Yoram Rubin of an Eulerian-Langragian approach to the simulation of advective transport in randomly heterogeneous porous media. In the words of Professor Shlomo Neuman, “Andrea has made major contributions to our understanding of both reactive and nonreactive solute transport through randomly heterogeneous porous media and his high caliber work and dedication deserve no lesser recognition than this research award.”

Prof Rinaldo’s contributions to hydrogeomorphology place him, according to Professor Rafael Bras, “among a very selected few and is enough to deserve worldwide recognition……” “his work on self-organization, optimal channel network, and thermodynamic analogies in the evolution of rivers is truly extraordinary….” “his enthusiasm and energy is enough to light up even the most tired intellect.” Hydrologists became first familiar with Andrea’s work in hydrogeomorphology when reading his series of papers in Water Resources Research on geomorphological dispersion and mass response functions, the result of an original and creative mind exploring new grounds. From that moment on, Andrea has been in the forefront as a world leader in search for the laws describing the structure of river basins and their links with the hydrologic response. Most recently he is again pioneering new and creative approaches in describing the structure and evolution of intertidal channel networks and their links to ecological dynamics. Andrea’s work in hydrogeomorphology, in the words of Professors William Dietrich and Alan Howard, is “forcing a debate about which fundamental processes drive landscape form, which features are ubiquitous, and what approaches to modeling are worthwhile.” Because of this work “now physicists, engineers, geomorphologists, geophysicists and others are pursuing river network analysis.” We all agree that Andrea’s papers will be seen in the future as a major contribution in explaining self-organizing tendencies in nature, and in landscapes in particular.

Andrea Rinaldo is a unique researcher in the creativity, intensity, enthusiasm, and search for important problems that he brings into his work. His contributions have deeply impacted hydrology and Earth’s system science in general and he has distinguished himself with ideas that have fundamentally advanced hydrology as a science. We are sure that Andrea will continue to open new roads for hydrology with the marks of originality and creativity that have become trademarks in his research. We are equally sure that his enthusiasm and love for research will bring many other scientists from a wide range of disciplines into contact with hydrology and the wonderful challenges that our field presents. This cross-fertilization will be the signature of great hydrologic research projects during the first decades of the next millennium. Andrea Rinaldo is and will continue to be a world leader in these efforts.