Similarity-based approaches in hydrogeology: proposal of a new concept for data-scarce groundwater resource characterization and prediction
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2021

A new concept is proposed for describing, analysing and predicting the dynamic behaviour of groundwater resources based on classification and similarity. The concept makes use of the ideas put forward by the “PUB” (predictions in ungauged basins) initiative in surface-water hydrology. One of the approaches developed in PUB uses the principle that similar catchments, exposed to similar weather conditions, will generate a similar discharge response at the catchment outlet. This way, models developed for well-observed catchments can be used to make predictions for ungauged catchments with similar properties (topography, land use, etc.). The concept proposed here applies the same idea to groundwater systems, with the goal to make predictions of the dynamic behaviour of groundwater in poorly observed systems using similarities to well-observed and understood systems. This paper gives an overview of the main ideas, the methodological background, the progress so far, and the challenges that the authors regard as most crucial for further development. One of the main goals of this article is thus to raise interest for this new concept within the groundwater community. There are a multitude of highly interesting aspects to investigate, and a community effort, as with PUB, is required. A second goal is to foster and exchange ideas between the groundwater and surface water research communities who, while often working on similar problems, have often missed the opportunity to learn from each other.

Time series


Groundwater management

Groundwater dynamics



Barthel Roland

Göteborgs universitet

Ezra Haaf

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Geologi och geoteknik

Markus Giese

Göteborgs universitet

Michelle Nygren

Göteborgs universitet

Benedikt Heudorfer

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Kerstin Stahl

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Hydrogeology Journal

1431-2174 (ISSN) 14350157 (eISSN)

Vol. 29 5 1693-1709



Oceanografi, hydrologi, vattenresurser




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