Laboratory of Water Resources and Environmental Studies - LABH2o


The Laboratory of Water Resources and Environmental Studies, which belongs to the Civil Engineering Program, was conceived in 2010 under a framework of adopting a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective for providing solid background formation and training of the future scientific leaders in the field of water resources. Attuned to social demands, the Laboratory operates through undergraduate students (Tutorial Educational Program - PET / MEC-SESu - CAPES and PIBIC Program – CNPq support) and graduate students (Master Program and Ph. D. Program), placing great emphasis on the emerging issue corresponding to the integrated and dynamic watershed management.


The new conceived Laboratory gathers and integrates research groups that historically followed the development of the Civil Engineering Program at COPPE / UFRJ, namely: Tracers Laboratory (1972); Hydrology Laboratory (1987) and Computational Hydraulics Laboratory (1998).

The primary mission of the Laboratory of Water Resources and Environmental Studies is building a database and development of analysis tools integrable to a decision support system aimed at water resource management with support on environmental modeling and hydrometeorological monitoring and global climate change monitoring at the watershed scale.



Some important academic-scientific research axes were established, which is worth mentioning, namely: (1) surface hydrology and groundwater, (2) surface-atmosphere interactions, micrometeorology and mesoscale hydrometeorology, (3) water quality, air and soil analysis, (4) fluvial hydraulics, (5) sediment transport, (6) hydraulic structures; (7) hydrometry; (8) tracers in hydrology; (9) environmental modeling and management of water resources in rural and urban basins (10) Global climate change and its regional effects.

The proposed themes encourage the study and development of remotely sensed techniques and geophysics exploring its potential for hydrological, hydraulic and climate change monitoring in order to supply the lack of data and provide support for the solution of general and local water and environmental problems related to river basins in Brazil. This includes, for example, improving the quality and reducing the cost and time of acquiring basic hydrological data, supporting the prediction, control and strategies with respect to treating drought and flood events, and estimates of the consequences of climate changes on the hydrological cycle in the scheme of the main rivers, identifying hydrological risks and measures to be taken to adequately manage new environmental conditions.

We seek to answer the following scientific questions: What factors affect the interannual variability of surface runoff and groundwater in watersheds? How the temporal and spatial patterns of soil moisture affect the balance of local and regional energy and water and interannual variability of surface runoff and groundwater? How to determine the uncertainties in the flows produced by a hydrologic model from the representation of spatiotemporal rainfall fields? How to model and integrate the spatiotemporal patterns of quantity and quality of water in watersheds and estuaries and coastal systems?


Accordingly, it is proposed that the referential action should be supported by the following study programs:

Program 1 – Environmental modeling and integrated management of water resources in rural and urban watersheds:


Based on the understanding that you can not manage without quantifying, this theme recognizes the importance of computational modeling platforms as tools for the quantification of key variables for the decision making process, both in the process of planning, implementation and operation. More important is the perception of the need to explicitly consider a stage of construction of the connections between the model results and management systems in the perspective of integrated risk analysis and assessment of impacts on the environment and the social environment.
The assessment of impacts caused by human activities associated with the vulnerability of the environment covers the topic of climate change and its impacts on hydrological regimes and water resources underlying vulnerability of aquifers subject to intense exploitation and contamination and remediation processes, sanitation, use of fluorescentand natural tracers to identify the dispersion of pollutants in water bodies and physical processes of the hydrological cycle, and constitute an integrator axis that allows the evaluation of models and parameterizations and database.

Program 2 - Spatial Hydrology and Remote Sensing as a new source of data for computational modeling platforms:



This subject perceives and recognizes the current state of the art development platforms and automatic remote sensing in hydrology and its use, either as a direct source of information for hydrological analysis, either as input data for hydrometeorological- hydrodynamic and water quality models, which can be used for both applications and to feed back the process of improving the models and corresponding parametrization.

Additionally, this theme requires to develop science and technology for spatial hydrology and remote sensing, in an innovative and integrated manner with advanced digital mapping systems, including acquisition, processing and dissemination with applications to modeling and management of water resources and development of environmental studies.

Program 3 - Hydrologic-hydraulic-atmospheric and water quality modeling:



Adopting a thematic line specific for the development and application of computational and numerical models and its integration as an instrument and tool management results from the recognition of the importance and potential of the models, as well as operational tool to support the development of knowledge about the hydrological processes, hydraulics, geomorphology and atmospheric at different spatial and temporal resolutions at the river basin scale. Additionally, it is noteworthy that this program encourages the construction of environmentally and socially integrated models.


In order to fulfill the proposed mission, in line with the strategic direction and rationale set forth in the three previous established programs, rural and urban watersheds are chosen, with different scales, which include, for example, the basin of the river Paraíba do Sul, rural and urban watersheds in the region of the state of Rio de Janeiro, the Amazon basin, the Cuiabá River basin, the basin of the river São Francisco, among others, building up and sharing with various institutions, which englobes both academic-scientific and operational aspects, and in particular sharing with the Brazilian society, the knowledge generated for proper management of small, medium and large scale watersheds. Additionally, we emphasize the concept adopted for this mission to guide the future development of the Laboratory based on experimental studies in the basin of the river Piabanha in the mountainous region of Rio de Janeiro (EIBEX), a tributary of the Paraíba do Sul River, which includes Atlantic forest biome, agricultural area and urban area, which provides the means to the development of new scientific methodologies and technological innovations.


The new conceived Laboratory gathers and integrates research groups that historically followed the development of the Civil Engineering Program at COPPE / UFRJ, namely: Tracers Laboratory (1972); Hydrology Laboratory (1987) and Computational Hydraulics Laboratory (1998).

>> Laboratory of Hydrology
>> Laboratory of Tracers
>> Laboratory of Computational Hydraulics




 Pesq. João  Sérgio Fajardo Roldão, M.Sc. - COPPE/UFRJ - LT

Prof.  José Paulo Soares de Azevedo - LHC
Prof.  Marcelo Gomes Miguez - LHC
Prof. Otto Correa Rottuno Filho (professor responsável)  - LABHID
Prof. Renato Nascimento Elias - LHC
Prof. Paulo Canedo de Magalhães - LABHID
Prof. Rui Carlos Vieira da Silva – LHC


Technicians and administrative staff



Amauri Cavalcanti de Lima - LT
Estela Maria Carvalho Sampaio - LABHID
Franklin Gonçalves de Oliveira Sobrinho - LHC 
Henrique Costa de Mattos - LT
José Otavio Goulart Pecly - LT
Leonardo de Aragão Guimarães - LHC
Marli Flor da Silva Coelho (LHC)
Mauro Bicalho Lopes- LABHID
Renato Burgo Lopes – LT
Sebastião Gilmar Fernandes - LABHID