Summer School

GEOframe Summer School GSS2022 

16 maggio 2022
17 maggio 2022
18 maggio 2022
13 giugno 2022
14 giugno 2022
15 giugno 2022
16 giugno 2022
17 giugno 2022
Orario di inizio 
Polo di Mesiano - Via Mesiano 77, Trento
Organizzato da: 
Prof. Riccardo Rigon
A pagamento con prenotazione
Prof. Riccardo Rigon

Scientific Committee and Leading Institutions

Prof. Riccardo Rigon, Ph.D.;  Prof. Giuseppe Formetta, Ph.D; Ing. Niccolò Tubini Ph.D., Ing. Concetta D’Amato, Ing. Marialaura Bancheri, Ph.D.


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


The  Earth’s  Critical  Zone  (CZ)  is  defined  as  the  heterogeneous,  near  surface  environment  in  which  complex  interactions involving rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms regulate the natural habitat and determine the availability of life-sustaining resources (National Research Council, 2001). Clear interest in studying the CZ is spurred on by ever-increasing pressure due to the growth in human population and climatic changes.

Main topics will embrace the water flow (and heat transport) in porous media, the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum, and inverse problems. The aim of the course is to enable participants to run their own simulations with the GEOframe tools prepared to simulate the critical zone. They are process-based (e.g. Fatichi et al, 2016) tools, whose ambition is to simulate the processes of infiltration, heat transport and evaporation and transpiration. The GSS2021 deals mainly with the 1D and 2D tools called WHETGEO (Water, Heat and Transport in GEOframe) 1D and 2D, GEO-ET (evaporation and transpiration in GEOframe) and GEOSPACE (Soil-Plants-Atmosphere Continuum Estimator in GEOframe). 

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.

The School will be onsite and online on the Zoom platform.

You can find here the materials of the previous GEOframe Summer School GSS2021. 

Participant Informations

Participants' background

Admissions are reserved to up to 30, PhD 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, water budget with process-based models.
All students are asked to upload a CV and a motivation letter when applying.

Workload and credits

The Summer School which is to be held in English, consists of 6 hours/day of activities for 6 days. The first two days,16-18 of May, cover the installation of the GEOframe-OMS system tools and lectures about the design and general characteristics of the system and to ancillary tools use like Jupyter Notebook and GMSH, the tool used to create and edit unstructured grids eventually used in the course.  

The other 5 days will cover simulation of infiltration with WHETGEO-1D and 2D, evporation and transpiration with the Prospero model, and with the GEOSPACE system. There will be lectures on the hydrological processes implemented and the illustration of use cases. 

Participation costs

The cost is free for Students of the Hydrological Modelling Classes at the University of Trento, for Ph.D. students of the University of Trento DICAM and C3A programs, for the participants of the WATZON and WATERSTEM PRIN project, and subscribers of the Young Italian Hydrological Society and for all who wants to participate without having a certificate of GEOframe proficiency.  Subscription to the class is necessary to receive the information to participate.  For those who want the certificate, the Course costs 180 Euros. In any case the certificate is issued after the presentation of a small project of covering simulations for which appropriate tutoring will be given during and after the School.


Registration form on-line will be available soon.

Other information

The GSS2022 talks and labs will be recorded and made publicly available during the School for self-training through the GEOframe blog.

Foreseen schedule

May 16 - General Informations

These days are dedicated to those who never approached the GEOframe system and pursue the understanding of  how it works. Who already knows how GEOframe works or have already installed it for different purposes than those of this School, can skip them.

May 17-18 - Installations and preliminaries

These days are dedicated to present the radiation energy budget, to download remote sensing data and to learn how create a mesh with GMSH.

June 13 - Infiltration theory and practice in 1D

This morning is mostly dedicated to fill theory of the processes investigated by  this School on GEOframe, meaning infiltration in soil, the basics of Richards/Richardson equation to which follow some exercises. The afternoon will be used to discuss issues related to the application of different boundary conditions, different parameterizations of the soil water retention curves.

June 14 - Infiltration practice in 1D 

This day is dedicated to discuss the problem of the surface boundary condition and to exercise with different solutions. 

June 15 - Infiltration and propagation of water in groundwater, soil and surface in WHETGEO 2D

This day is dedicated to the bi-dimensional case of the Richardson-Richards equation.

June 16 - Transport processes in WHETGEO

This day is dedicated to the transport of pollutants and tracer within GEOframe.

June 17 - The Soil-Plants-Atmosphere Continuum Estimator in GEOframe (GEOSPACE)


This Summer School was partially supported by the WATZON and 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 essential about the Object Modelling System
  • Bottazzi, Transpiration Theory and the Prospero component of GEOframe, M, Ph.D. Thesis
  • Casulli, Vincenzo, and Zanolli, P. 2010. “A Nested Newton-Type Algorithm for Finite Colume Methods Solving Richards’ Equation in Mixed Form.” SIAM Journal of Scientific Computing 32 (4): 2225–73.
  • 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.
  • Tubini, N., Theoretical and Numerical Tools for Studying the Critical Zone from Plots to Catchments, Ph.D. Thesis
  • 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.
  • Tubini, Niccolò, and Riccardo Rigon. 2021. “Implementing the Water, HEat and Transport Model in GEOframe WHETGEO-1D v.1.0: Algorithms, Informatics, Design Patterns, Open Science Features, and 1D Deployment.”