Articles | Volume 21, issue 2
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1107–1116, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-1107-2017

Special issue: Observations and modeling of land surface water and energy...

Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1107–1116, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-1107-2017

Opinion article 22 Feb 2017

Opinion article | 22 Feb 2017

HESS Opinions Catchments as meta-organisms – a new blueprint for hydrological modelling

Hubert H. G. Savenije and Markus Hrachowitz

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Short summary
The natural environment that we live in is the result of evolution. This does not only apply to ecosystems, but also to the physical environment through which the water flows. This has resulted in the formation of flow patterns that obey sometimes surprisingly simple mathematical laws. Hydrological models should represent the physics of these patterns and should account for the fact that the ecosystem adjusts itself continuously to changing circumstances. Physics-based models are alive!