Winter School

GEOframe Winter School 2022/2023

5 December 2022
6 December 2022
7 December 2022
9 January 2023
10 January 2023
11 January 2023
12 January 2023
13 January 2023
Start time 
9:00 am
Prof. Riccardo Rigon
Target audience: 
Registration fee – Registration required
Online – Registration required
Reservation required
Registration deadline: 
2 January 2023, 12:00
Contact person: 
Prof. Riccardo Rigon
Contact details: 
Lorena Galante
+39 0461 282660

Scientific Committee

Riccardo Rigon, Giuseppe Formetta, Niccolò Tubini, Marialaura Bancheri

Organizing Committee

Concetta D’Amato, Shima Azimi, Martin Morlot, Daniele Andreis, Gaia Roati, Riccardo Busti (the fantastic group of our Ph.D. students)


Department of Civil, Environmental, and Mechanical Engineering, University of Trento
Center Agriculture Food Environment, University of Trento
Institute for Agricultural and Forest Systems in the Mediterranean, National Research Council, Ercolano NA, Italy


GEOframe is a system for doing hydrology by computer. By saying that it is a system, we emphasize that it is not a model but an infrastructure that can contain many differentiated modelling solutions (some tens of that) that are built upon model components. This is because GEOframe leverages the Object Modelling system-framework (v3) that allows connection modelling components to solve a specific hydrological issue together and having many alternatives for its mathematical/numerical description. This infrastructure allows adapting the tools to the problems and not vice versa. GEOframe has been applied to hydrological simulations from the point scale to large catchments such as the Blue Nile, and among those are being deployed to the Po river (the largest in Italy) with great detail. GEOframe is open-source and built with open-source tools.


GEOframe contains tens of components that cover rainfall-runoff, evaporation, transpiration, infiltration, terrain analysis tools, interpolation models, calibrations tools, and so on. The Winter School is about using some of these tools to perform the hydrological budget of catchments. The core rainfall-runoff model is a dynamical system (systems of ordinary differential equations) and the school mainly treats their theory and their use in a contemporary way as summarized in these 7 steps. Besides the lectures and the hands-on sessions, the Summer School is the occasion for discussion and experience exchange among senior scholars and young researchers.

Participants' background

Admissions are reserved for up to 30, Ph.D. students and postdoctoral students, young researchers willing to learn the use of the GEOframe tools envisioned for the study of infiltration, energy budget, vegetation transpiration, and water budget with process-based models
All students are asked to upload a CV and a motivation letter when applying.

Workload and credits

The Winter School which is to be held in English consists of 8 hours/day of activities for 8 days. The first three days, 20-22 December, will be dedicated to the installation of the new version of GEOframe-OMS system tools. Lectures will be brief, dedicated to informatics and the exploiting of the concepts of modeling by components, Digital Twin Earth, and most of the time will be used for supporting participants’ installations.
The other five days (10-14 January) will cover:

  • Catchment and Hydrologic Response Unit delineation
  • Meteorological variables interpolation with Kriging techniques
  • Simple evapotranspiration methods
  • Snow models
  • Radiation
  • Rainfall-Runoff modelling 

as explained in these 7 steps.

Location & Timing

University of Trento Polo Mesiano, H1 Room and Online. The three days of informatics and installations will be online. The others are online and onsite. The time schedule will be 9-13 and 14-18 CET on each of the days. Lectures and workouts will be recorded and immediately posted on the VIMEO Channel of the School and therefore they could be followed offline. A special agreement will be arranged for supporting abroad students with fuse issues.

Participation costs

Registration deadline January 2, 2022, 12 p.m. (Italian time).
A subscription to the class is necessary for anyone to receive the information to participate.
Admissions are reserved for up to 30. The students at the University of Trento will be admitted to the School on a supernumerary basis.
The days in December will be held only online through Zoom.
A maximum of 15 people may attend the January days in person. In any case, it will be possible to follow the School online through Zoom.
For those who want the certificate, the Course costs 180 Euros free of “VAT tax” as art. 10 DPR 633/72. . In any case, the certificate is issued after the presentation of a small project of simulations for which appropriate tutoring will be given during and after the School.
The cost is free for:

  • students of the Hydrological Modelling Classes at the University of Trento,
  • Ph.D. students of the University of Trento DICAM and C3A programs,
  • the participants of the WATZON and WATERSTEM PRIN projects,
  • members of the Young Hydrological Society of the Italian Hydrological Society
  • all who want to participate without having a certificate of GEOframe proficiency.

For further information write to: abouthydrology [at] or to the Secretary of the Class dott. Lorena Galante, lorena.galante [at]

Other information

The GWS2022 talks and labs will be recorded and made publicly available during the School for self-training through the GEOframe blog ( 
INDEX OF THE LECTURES for the inpatients (links to videos and material)

Foreseen schedule

2022, December 5 - 6 

These days are dedicated to those who never approached the GEOframe system and pursue an understanding of how it works. 

  • Installations:
  • Anaconda and set up of the virtual environment GEOframe_verona;
  • Java (JDK 11);
  • OMS console 3.6.28;
  • QGIS (or other GIS software mainly for visualizing maps);
  • A brief introduction to Jupyter notebooks and Python;
  • Solving installation problem

2022, December 7

  • The philosophy behind OMS/GEOframe;
  • The GEOframe deployment;
  • A brief introduction to the Object Modelling System;
  • The OMS working environment;
  • The structure of a .sim file;
  • The OMS console;
  • Practical session on OMS;
  • What are the Digital Twin Earth models;
  • How to contribute to GEOframe.

2023, January 9 

This day is dedicated to watershed delineation and hillslope extraction. First, the relevant concepts are given. Then the Horton Machine tools are used to get the desired results.
Morning session

  • Planning the catchment analysis: the seven steps of hydrological analysis;
  • The catchment landscape: form, organization, types;
  • Hydrogeomorphology: the basic theory;
  • Exercise with DEM for extracting the basic features.

Afternoon session

  • Hydrogeomorphology: the derived quantities;
  • Exercise with DEM for extracting the derived quantities;
  • Hydrogeomorphology: hillslope-link partition of the basin;
  • Exercise on the hillslope-link partition of the basin;
  • The GEOframe Input builder new tool.

2023, January 10

This day is dedicated to interpolating meteorological data with Kriging.
Morning session

  • Practical session on data analysis;
  • Normal score;
  • The Kriging’s equations;
  • Variography;
  • The GEOframe Spatial Interpolation Package (SIK);
  • Error estimation.

Afternoon session

  •  Exercise on SIK.

2023, January 11

Evapotranspiration accounts for most of fifty percent of the terrestrial hydrological cycle. We illustrate here some ways to estimate it with the tools offered by the GEOframe system.
Morning session

  • Radiation;
  • Exercise on radiation;
  • Phase transformation, i.e. the Clausius-Clapeyron equation;
  • Momentum and water vapor transport in the atmosphere;
  • Evaporation as energy flow;
  • Evaporation or transpiration?;
  • The Priestly-Taylor model;
  • The FAO model.

Afternoon session

  • Exercise on Priestly-Taylor model and FAO model;
  • Snow models: temperature index and Cazorzi Dalla Fontana;
  • Exercise on modelling the snow water equivalent in GEOframe.

2023, January 12

Finally, we go to the core of the School, the modelling of the Hydrological cycle. However, treating the geomorphology and the inputs were hydrological modelling too. According to the rule garbage in - garbage out, whatever the core models are, their result cannot be any good if the inputs are wasted.
Morning session

  • What are models in Hydrology?
  • Hydrological Dynamical System;
  • The representation of Hydrological Dynamical System;
  • Net3.

Afternoon session

  • A few reservoirs are connected together in a single subbasin;
  • Connect the subbasins by using the topology;
  • Calibration with LUCA.

2023, January 13

GEOframe aims to simulate the whole hydrological cycle. Evaporation and transpiration were already talked about on Day 4. However, several other aspects can be accounted for in GEOframe for obtaining a realistic representation of the hydrological cycle. The scope of this day is to progressively introduce new aspects and features. 
 Morning session

  • Adding the interception, routing, and reservoirs;
  • Set up the GEOframe-NewAge model.

Afternoon session

  • Analysis of the results in light of streamflow signatures by using the hydro analysis Python package.


This Winter School was partially supported by the WATZON PRIN project and the WATERSTEM PRIN project.

Specific Documentation

The specific documentation regards papers and thesis written on the GEOframe components used in this School. Other literature, of general interest,  is provided within the presentations given during the course. Practical documentation for any of the tasks is provided by means of Jupyter Notebooks, of which the general ones are reported below.

Some essentials about the Object Modelling System

  • Bottazzi, Transpiration Theory and the Prospero component of GEOframe, M, Ph.D. Thesis
  • David, O., Ascough II, J. C., Lloyd, W., Green, T. R., Rojas, K. W., Leavesley, G. H., & Ahuja, L. R. (2013). A software engineering perspective on environmental modeling framework design: The Object Modeling System. Environmental Modelling & Software, 39, 201-213.
  • Fatichi, Simone, Enrique R. Vivoni, Fred L. Ogden, Valeriy Y. Ivanov, Benjamin Mirus, David Gochis, Charles W. Downer, et al. 2016. “An Overview of Current Applications, Challenges, and Future Trends in Distributed Process-Based Models in Hydrology.” Journal of Hydrology 537 (C): 45–60.
  • Bottazzi, M., Bancheri, M., Mobilia, M., Bertoldi, G., Longobardi, A., & Rigon, R. (2021). Comparing Evapotranspiration Estimates from the GEOframe-Prospero Model with Penman–Monteith and Priestley-Taylor Approaches under Different Climate Conditions. Water, 13(9), 1221.
  • Abera, W.W. (2016), Modelling water budget at a basin scale using JGrass-NewAge system. Ph.D. thesis, University of Trento
  • Bancheri, Marialaura (2017) A flexible approach to the estimation of water budgets and its connection to the travel time theory. Ph.D. thesis, University of Trento.
  • Bancheri, M., Serafin, F., & Rigon, R. (2019). The Representation of Hydrological Dynamical Systems Using Extended Petri Nets (EPN). Water Resources Research, 8(01), 159–27. 
  • Bancheri, M., Rigon, R., & Manfreda, S. (2020). The GEOframe-NewAge Modelling System Applied in a Data Scarce Environment. Water, 12(1), 86–24.
  • Busti, R. - The implementation and testing of different modeling solutions to estimate water balance in mountain regions, Realatori, Formetta, G. e Rigon, R.
  • Formetta, Giuseppe (2013) Hydrological modelling with components: the OMS3 NewAge-JGrass system. Ph.D. thesis, University of Trento.
  • Formetta, G., Antonello, A., Franceschi, S., David, O., & Rigon, R. (2014). Hydrological modelling with components: A GIS-based open source framework, 55(C), 190–200.
  • Patta, C, Costruzione di un modello idrologico di stima della disponibilità idrica in area pedemontana, Tesi di laurea (in Italian), Politecnico di Torino, 2018
  • Add, N., Newman, A. J., Mizukami, N., & Clark, M. P. (2017). The CAMELS data set: catchment attributes and meteorology for large-sample studies. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 21(10), 5293-5313.
  • Dal Molin,  Marco (2021). Improvement and application of flexible frameworks for modelling regional streamflow variability, Université de Neuchâtel.
  • Molin, M. D., Schirmer, M., Zappa, M., & Fenicia, F. (2020). Understanding dominant controls on streamflow spatial variability to set up a semi-distributed hydrological model: the case study of the Thur catchment. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 24(3), 1319-1345.