Carlier, Claire


The aim of my research project is to quantify the sensitivity of Swiss river basins to droughts under changing climatic conditions based mainly on their geological, hydrogeological and topographic characteristics. The low flow behavior of rivers are highly related to the (hydro)geological settings of their watersheds. The representation of groundwater contribution in hydrological models is often very simplified, which leads to a poor performance of these models for low flows. The objective of my research project is to better understand the role of groundwater and its interaction with surface water under low flow conditions. Once the (hydro)geological units and basins characteristics (geomorphology, soil, land use, etc) relevant for low flow generation are identified, hydrological models can be improved. In a more general approach, the project also aims to develop drought sensitivity indicators for Swiss river basins based on their geological, hydrogeological and topographic properties.

I am working with HydroGeoSphere, a physically-based hydrogeological model. I am investigating a selection of 59 Swiss watersheds, as well as two catchments in detail: the Röthenbach River basin (Emmental), and the Langeten River basin. The project is funded by the FOEN (Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland) and is carried out in collaboration with the University of Zurich and the University of Freiburg (Germany).

Positions held

  • 2013: Master thesis on “Developing of a stream temperature model based on meteorological data”, e-dric.ch, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2012: Internship in water resources management, CSD Engineers, Fribourg, Switzerland



  • 2007 – 2013 : Bachelor and Master in Environmental Engineering, specialisation in water resources management and soil protection, ETH Zurich, Switzerland



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Centre for Hydrogeology and Geothermics (CHYN)
Emile-Argand 11
CH-2000 Neuchâtel