Prof. Dr. Paolo Burlando

Prof. Dr.  Paolo Burlando

Prof. Dr. Paolo Burlando

Institut für Umweltingenieurwiss.

HIL D 22.3

Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5

8093 Zürich


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Personal research interests

He actively carries out research as individual and research group leader in the fields of water resources planning and management, rainfall field analysis (mathematical models of precipitation, scaling properties of rainfall fields) hydrologic extreme forecasting and prediction (real-time prediction of temporal rainfall, flood forecasting and real-time rainfall prediction, design criteria of hydrological forecasting systems, extreme value analysis in the frequency domain), global change and water resources (downscaling of climate scenarios from Global Circulation Models, analysis of long-term hydrological time-series, impact of global change on the hydrological cycle and on water resources systems, impact of global change on urban drainage systems design), water resources in mountainous regions, hydrology and ecology interactions in mountain floodplains.

Short CV


1984: Degree in Civil Engineering (Hydraulics), University of Genoa (Italy).
1989: Ph.D. in Hydraulic Engineering (Hydrology) from Politecnico di Milano (Italy).

Positions and teaching activity

1985: Fellowship, “International Advanced Course on Water Resources Management”, Italian University for Foreigners in Perugia.
1986-1989: Ph.D. student at Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
1990-1996: Research Associate at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, tenured position after 1994.
1994-1996: Professor in charge, “Basin and river training”, Politecnico di Milano, Italy.
1997- today: Professor of “Hydrology and Water Resources Management”, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

Scientific related activities

1996, Guest editor of J. Hydrology; 1994-to date, appointed reviewer for J. of Hydrology, Water Resources Research, J. Hydrological Sciences, Hydrological Processes, J. ASCE, J.of Hydrometeorology, Water Sci-ence and Technology; 1997-to date, appointed in panel of experts of National Research Council of Italy, Na-tional Envrionmental Council, UK, European Commission (DGXII), Swiss National Research Foundation, Austrian Science Fund (FWF); 1997-to date, Member of the Hydrology Committee, Swiss Academy of Natural Sciences; 1997-1999, Secretary of the Hydrology and Weather section of EGS (European Geophysi-cal Society); 1998-to to date, Member of the Rain Data Committee of the Swiss Water Pollution Control As-sociation; 1998-to date, Chief of the Regional Center for European Alps within the USGS program “GLIMS” (Global Land Ice Monitoring from Space); 1998-to date, Member of the Scientific Committee of the Hydro-logical Atlas of Switzerland; 2000-to date, Associated Editor of HESS; 1999-to date, co-director of the Post-graduate Education Program in “Hydrology and Hydrogeology” jointly organised by Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and Zurich (ETHZ), and by the University of Neuchâtel; 2001-2004, Member of the Swiss Federal Commission on Water Resources Management; Principal investigator and co-investigator of several national and international research projects.

Selected research projects

  • 1998-2001, FRAMEWORK - Flash-flood Risk Assessment under the iMpacts of land use changes and river Engineer-ing WORKs, funded by DG XII of the European Union (co-PI, Unit PI);
  • 1999-2002, ETH internal project on Effects of climatic fluctuations on runoff production and water resources manage-ment in highly glacierized alpine basins (PI);
  • 2002-2004, The Influence of Different Land Uses and Catchment Training on Runoff Production and Mitigation of Wa-ter Related Hazards in Small Mountainous Basins, funded by the Swiss Federal Agency for the Evironment, Forest and Landscape (PI);
  • 2002-2005, Interactions between surface water and groundwater in an alpine environment: Assessment, Modelling, Ecosystem Response, Impact Analysis in the Maggia Valley, Ticino – MaVal, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (PI);
  • 2005-2008 Alpine WAter Resources: monitoring and modelling through continuous Simulation of ice and snow cover mass balance – AWAS, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (PI);
  • 2007-2010 Assessment and Modeling of Coupled Ecological and Hydrological Dynamics in the Restored Corridor of a River (RECORD - REstored COrridor Dynamics), funded by the Competence Center on Environment and Sustainabil-ity of the Council of the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology (Unit PI);
  • 2008-2010, Advanced Process UNderstanding and prediction of hydrological extremes and Complex Hazards (APUNCH), funded by the Competence Center on Environment and Sustainability of the ETH domain, Switzerland (Coordinator and PI).
  • 2008-2013, Assessing Climatic change and impacts on the Quantity and quality of WAter (ACQWA), funded by the Eu-ropean Union within the 7th Framework Programme (PI and WP Leader).
  • 2009-2011, SCaling of space-time precipitation in the Swiss ALPs and its impact on basin response (SCALP), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (co-PI).
  • 2010-2013, Future glacier evolution and consequences for the hydrology and the potential for glacier hazards (FUGE), funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation NRP 61 (unit PI).
  • 2010-2013, HydroServ - Vulnerability of hydrological ecosystem services: Integrative analysis under changes of cli-mate and socio-economy with an emphasis on adaptation (HydroServ), funded by the Swiss National Science Founda-tion NRP 61 (unit PI).
  • 2011-2015, The Landscape Architecture of Hydrological Ecosystem Services at the Periphery of Southeast Asian Cities: The Case of the Ciliwung Watershed between Bogor and Jakarta in Indonesia, funded by National research Foundation of Singapore through the Future Cities Lab of the Singapore ETH Center (unit PI).

Selected list of publications

  • Burlando, P., (1989) Rainfall simulation and prediction by means of stochastic models (in italian), Ph.D. thesis, Institute of Hydraulics, Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
  • Burlando, P. and R. Rosso, (1993) Stochastic Models of Temporal Rainfall: Reproducibility, Estimation and Prediction of Extreme Events, accepted for publication in: Salas, J.D., R. Harboe, e J. Marco-Segura (eds.), Stochastic Hydrology in its Use in Water Resources Systems Simulation and Optimization, Proc. of NATO-ASI Workshop, Peniscola, Spain, September 18-29, 1989, Kluwer, pp. 137-173.
  • Burlando, P. and R. Rosso, (1991) Comment on "Parameter estimation and sensitivity analysis for the modified Bartlett-Lewis Rectangular Pulses Model of rainfall, by Islam et al., J. Geophys. Res., 95, D3, 1990, p.2093-2100, J. Geophys. Res., 96(D5), p. 9391-9395.
  • Burlando, P. and R. Rosso, (1992) Extreme storm rainfall and climatic change, Atmospheric Res., 27 (1-3), 169-189.
  • Burlando, P., R. Rosso, L. Cadavid, and J.D. Salas, (1993) Forecasting of short-term rainfall using ARMA models, J. Hydrol., 144, April, 193-211.
  • Burlando, P., M. Mancini, and R. Rosso, (1993) FLORA: a distributed flood risk analyser, in Guariso G. and B. Page (eds.), Computer support for environmental impact assessment, IFIP Transactions, B-16, Elsevier (North Holland), pp. 91-102.
  • Burlando, P., A. Montanari, e R. Ranzi, (1996) Forecasting of storm rainfall by combined use of radar, rain gages and linear models, Atm. Res., 42, 199-216.
  • Burlando, P. e R. Rosso, (1996) Scaling and multiscaling Depth-Duration-Frequency curves of storm precipita-tion, J. Hydrol., vol. 187/1-2, pp. 45-64.
  • Burlando, P., A. Montanari, e R. Rosso, (1996) Modelling hydrological data with and without long memory, Meccanica, 31, pp.87-101, Kluwer Ac. Publ., Dordrecht, The Netherlands.
  • Burlando, P., M. Mancini, and R. Rosso, (1997) Impact of climate change on hydrological modeling and flood risk assessment, in: RIBAMOD - River basin modelling, management and flood mitigation concerted action, edited by R. Casale, K. Havnø and P. Samuels, Proc. of the 1st Expert Meeting, Copenaghen, October 10-11, 1996, pp. 7-25.
  • Galimberti Aghion, C., and P. Burlando, (2000) Climatic forcing and flood frequency, in: Claps, P. and F. Sic-cardi (eds.), Mediterranean Storms, p. 311-339.
  • Pfaundler, M., and P. Burlando, (2000) Identification of homogeneous regions for flood frequency regionalization with the region of influence approach in Switzerland; to what extent spatial proximity alone can be used as basis for the information transfer?, in Toensmann, F. and M. Koch (eds), River Flood Defence, Vol.1., Proc. of Int. Symposium on River Flood Defence, Kassel, Sept. 20-23, pp. D185-D194.
  • Pfaundler, M., and P. Burlando, (2002) The region of influence approach, a dynamic method of regional flood frequency analysis in complex and highly variable environments – experiences from Switzerland, in: A. Snorasson et al. (eds.), The Extremes of the Extremes: Extraordinary Floods, IAHS Publ. no. 271, pp. 323–328.
  • Olsson, J., and P. Burlando, (2002) Reproduction of temporal scaling by a rectangular pulses rainfall model, Hydrol. Process., 16, 611-630.
  • Burlando, P. and R. Rosso, (2002) Effects of transient climate change on basin hydrology. 1. Precipitation scenarios for the Arno River, central Italy, Hydrol. Process., 16, 1151-1175.
  • Burlando, P. and R. Rosso, (2002) Effects of transient climate change on basin hydrology. 2. Impacts on runoff variability of the Arno River, central Italy, Hydrol. Process., 16, 1177-1199.
  • Burlando, P., U. Strasser and F. Pellicciotti, (2002) Modelling Mountainous Water Systems Between Learning And Speculating, Looking For Challenges, Nordic Hydrol., 33(1), 47-74.
  • Molnar, P., P. Burlando and W. Ruf, (2002) Hydrological Extremes in Riverine Catchments, Aquat. Sci., 64, 129-140.
  • Salas, J.D., J. Ramirez, P. Burlando and R.A. Pielke Sr., (2003) Stochastic simulation of precipitation and streamflow processes, Ch. 33 in Handbook of Weather, Climate and Water: Atmospheric Chemistry, Hydrology and Societal Impacts, ed. T.D. Potter and B.R. Colman, Wiley, New York, p. 607-640.
  • Valdes, J., P. Burlando and J.D. Salas, (2003) Stochastic forecasting of precipitation and streamflow processes, Ch. 34 in Handbook of Weather, Climate and Water: Atmospheric Chemistry, Hydrology and Societal Impacts, ed. T.D. Potter and B.R. Colman, Wiley, New York, p. 641-665.
  • Strasser, U., J. Corripio, F. Pellicciotti, P. Burlando, B. Brock, and M. Funk, (2004) Spatial and temporal variability of meteorological variables at Haut Glacier d’Arolla (Switzerland) during the ablation season 2001: Measurements and simulations, J. Geophys. Res., 109, D03103, doi:10.1029/2003JD003973.
  • Birsan, M.V., P. Molnar, P. Burlando and M. Pfaundler, (2005) Streamflow trends in Switzerland, J.Hydrol., 314(1-4), p. 312-329.
  • Molnar, P. and P. Burlando, (2005) Preservation of rainfall properties in stochastic disaggregation by a simple random cascade model, Atmos. Res., 77(1-4), p. 137-151
    Pellicciotti, F., B. Brock, U. Strasser, P. Burlando, M. Funk, and J.G. Corripio, (2005) An enhanced Temperature Index Glacier Melt Model Including the Shortwave Radiation Balance : Development and Testing for Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Switzerland, J.Glaciol., 51(175), p. 573-587.
  • Salas, J.D., H.S.Kim, R. Eykholt, P. Burlando and T. Green, (2005) Aggregation and sampling in deterministic chaos: implications for chaos identification in hydrological processes, Nonlin. Proc. Geophys., 12, 557-567.
  • Sovilla, B., P. Burlando, and P. Bartelt, (2006) Field experiments and numerical modeling of mass entrainment in snow avalanches, J. Geophys. Res., 111, F03007, doi:10.1029/2005JF000391
  • Milzow, C., P. Molnar, B. McArdell and P. Burlando, (2005) Spatial organization in the step-pool structure of a steep mountain stream (Vogelbach, Switzerland), Water Resour. Res., 42, W04418, doi:10.1029/2004WR003870.
  • Molnar, P., P. Burlando, J. Kirsch, and E. Hinz, (2006) Model investigations of the effects of land use changes and forest damages on erosion in mountainous environments, in: Rowan, J.S. et al. (eds), Sediment Dynamics and the Hydromorphology of Fluvial Systems, IAHS Publ. 306, 589-600.
  • Foglia, L., S.W. Mehl, M.C. Hill, P. Perona and P. Burlando, (2006) Evaluation of information criteria, linear statistics, cross-validation, and predictions using alternative groundwater models, Groundwater, doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6584.2007.00341.x.
  • Alfieri, L., P. Perona, and P. Burlando, (2006) Optimal water allocation for an Alpine hydropower system under changing scenarios. Water Resour. Manag., 20, 761-778.
  • Kirsch, J., P. Burlando, P. Molnar, and E. Hinz, (2007) Modelling the effects of land cover changes on sediment transport in the Vogelbach basin, Switzerland, in Sediment Dynamics and Pollutant Mobility in Rivers – An Interdisciplinary Approach, ed. by B. Westrich and U. Förstner, Springer-Verlag Berlin, Heidelberg, New York, p. 186-196.
  • Pellicciotti, F., P. Burlando and K. van Vliet, (2007) Recent trends in precipitation and streamflow in the Aconcagua River Basin: analysis of monthly data, in: Ginot, P and j.E. Sicart (eds.), Glacier Mass Balance Changes and Meltwater Discharge, IAHS Publ. 318, 17-38.
  • Molnar, P., M.V. Birsan, V. Favre, P. Perona, P. Burlando, and C. Randin, (2008) Floodplain forest dynamics in a hydrologically altered mountain river, Peckiana, 5, 17-24.
  • Ruf, W., L. Foglia, P. Perona, P. Molnar, R. Faeh, and P. Burlando, (2008) Modelling the interaction between groundwater and river flow in an active Alpine floodplain ecosystem, Peckiana, 5, 5-16.
  • Molnar, P. and P. Burlando, (2008) Variability in the scaling properties of high resolution precipitation data in the Alpine climate of Switzerland, Water Resour. Res., 44, W10404, doi:10.1029/2007WR006142.
  • Perona, P. and P. Burlando, (2008) Mechanistic interpretation of alpine glaciated environments. Part 1. Model formulation and related dynamical properties, Adv. Water Res., 31, 937-947.
  • Dadic, R., J.G. Corripio and P. Burlando, (2008) Mass-balance estimates for Haut Glacier d’Arolla, Switzerland, from 2000 to 2006 using DEMs and distributed mass-balance modeling, Ann. Glaciol., 49, 22-26.
  • Perona, P., P. Molnar, M. Savina, and P. Burlando, (2008) Stochastic sediment–vegetation dynamics in an Alpine braided river, in Sediment Dynamics in Changing Environments, IAHS Publ. 325, 266-274.
  • Molnar, P., A.L Densmore, B.W. McArdell and P. Burlando, (2008) Flood-induced changes in the step-pool morphology of a steep mountain stream, in Sediment Dynamics in Changing Environments, IAHS Publ. 325, 302-307.
  • Carenzo, M. F. Pellicciotti, S. Rimkus, and P. Burlando, (2009) Assessing the transferability and robustness of an enhanced temperature-index glacier melt model, J. Glaciol., 55, 190, 258-274.
  • Pellicciotti, F., M. Carenzo, J. Helbing, S. Rimkus and P. Burlando, (2009) On the role of subsurface heat conduction in glacier energy-balance modelling, Ann. Glaciol., 50, 16-24.
  • Perona, P., P. Molnar, M. Savina, and P. Burlando, (2009) An observations-based stochastic model for sediment-vegetation dynamics in the floodplain of an Alpine river, Water Resour. Res., 45, W09418, doi:10.1029/2008WR007550.
  • Foglia, L., M.C. Hill, S. Mehl, P. Burlando, (2009) Sensitivity analysis, calibration, and testing of a distributed hydrological model using error-based weighting and one objective function, Water Resour. Res., 45, W06427, doi:10.1029/2008WR007255
  • Jiang, Z., P. Perona, R. Francis, P. Molnar and P. Burlando, (2009) An experimental comparison of silica gel and quartz sand grains as sediment media for growing vegetation at the laboratory scale, Aquat. Sci., 71, 350-355.
  • Perona, P., C. Camporeale, E. Perucca, M. Savina, P. Molnar, P. Burlando and L. Ridolfi, (2009) Modelling river and riparian vegetation interactions and related importance for sustainable ecosystem management, Aquat. Sci., 71, 266-278.
  • Dadic, R., R. Mott, M. Lehning, and P. Burlando (2010), Wind influence on snow depth distribution and accumulation over glaciers, J. Geophys. Res., 115, F01012, doi:10.1029/2009JF001261.
  • Dadic, R., R. Mott, M. Lehning, and P. Burlando (2010), Parameterization for wind-induced preferential deposition of snow, Hydrol. Proc., 24(14), 1994-2006
  • Schäppi, B, P. Perona, P. Schneider, and P. Burlando (2010), Integrating river cross section measurements with digital terrain models for improved flow modelling applications, Computer & Geosciences, 36, 707–716.
  • Savina, M. and P. Burlando, (2010) The highest X-band radar in Europe: first achievements, Proc. of the 6th European Conference on Radar in Meteorology and Hydrology – ERAD 2010, vol. 1, p. 207-213.
  • Konz, M. D. Finger, C. Bürgi, S. Normand, W. Immerzeel, J. Merz, G. Amarnath and P. Burlando, (2010) Calibration of a distributed hydrological model for simulations of remote glacierized Himalayan catchments using MODIS snow cover data, in Servat E. et al (eds), Global Change: Facing Risks and Threats to Water Resources, Proc. of the 6th FRIEND conference, Fez, Morocco, IAHS Publ. 340, p. 465-473.
  • Molnar, P., A.L. Densmore, B.W. McArdell, J.M. Turowski, and P. Burlando, (2010) Analysis of changes in the step-pool morphology and channel profile of a steep mountain stream following a large flood, Geomorphology, 124, 85-94.
  • Foglia, L., Mehl, S.W., Hill, M.C., Perona, P., Burlando, P., (2010) Identifying important observations using crossvalidation and computationally frugal sensitivity analysis methods, Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 6, Pages 7650-7651, Sixth International Conference on Sensitivity Analysis of Model Output.
  • Pasquale, N., P. Perona, P. Schneider, J. Shrestha, A. Wombacher, and P. Burlando, (2011). Modern comprehensive approach to monitor the morphodynamic evolution of a restored river corridor, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15(4), 1197–1212.
  • Edmaier, K., P. Perona and P. Burlando, (2011) Mechanisms of vegetation uprooting by flow in alluvial non-cohesive sediment, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 1615–1627.
  • Finger, D., F. Pellicciotti, M. Konz, S. Rimkus, and P. Burlando, (2011) The value of glacier mass balance, satellite snow cover images, and hourly discharge for improving the performance of a physically based distributed hydrological model, Water Resour. Res., 47, doi:10.1029/2010WR009824
  • Pellicciotti, F., T. Raschle, T. Huerlimann, M. Carenzo, and P. Burlando, (2011) Transmission of solar radiation through clouds on melting glaciers: a comparison of parameterizations and their impact on melt modelling, J. Glaciol., 57(202), 367-381.
  • Konz, M., M. Chiari, S. Rimkus, J.M. Turowski, P. Molnar, D. Rickenmann, and P. Burlando, (2011) Sediment transport modelling in a distributed physically based hydrological catchment model, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 15, 2821-2837, doi:10.5194/hess-15-2821-2011.
  • Savina, M., P. Molnar, and P. Burlando, (2011) Seasonal long-term persistence in radar precipitation in complex terrain, Water Resour. Res., 47, W10506, doi:10.1029/2010WR010170.
  • Molnar, P., P. Burlando, and F. Pellicciotti, (2011) Streamflow trends in mountainous regions, in Encyclopedia of Snow, Ice and Glaciers, edited by V.P. Singh, P. Singh and U.K. Haratashaya, Springer Verlag, ISBN: 978-90-481-2643-9, 1084-1089.
  • Savina, M., B. Schaeppi, P. Molnar, P. Burlando, and B. Sevruk, (2012) Comparison of recording precipitation gauges: tipping-bucket ANETZ and electronic weighing system MPS, Atmospheric Res., 103, 45-51.
  • Paschalis, A., P. Molnar, and P. Burlando, (2012) Temporal dependence structure in weights in a multiplicative cascade model for precipitation, Water Resour. Res., 48, 1, doi:10.1029/2011WR010679.
  • Pasquale, N., P. Perona, R. Francis and P. Burlando, (2012) Effects of streamflow variability on the vertical root density distribution of willow cutting experiments, Ecol. Eng., 40, 167-172.
  • Egli, L, T. Jonas, T. Grunewald, M. Schirmer, and P. Burlando, (2012) Dynamics of snow ablation in a small Alpine catchment observed by repeated terrestrial laser scans, Hydrol. Proc., 26(10), 1574-1585, doi:10.1002/hyp.8244
  • Anagnostopoulos, G.G. and P. Burlando, (2012) Object-oriented computational framework for the simulation of variably saturated flow in soils, using a reduced complexity model, Env. Mod. & Software, in press.
  • Bordoy, R. and P. Burlando (2012) Bias correction of a Regional Climate Model in a region of complex orography, J. Appl. Met. & Clim., in press.
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