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STAHY'13 Workshop, Kos Island, Greece, 17-19 October 2013

The topical workshop of the International Commission on Statistical Hydrology (ICSH-IAHS, formally STAHY) was held in Kos Island, Greece, 17-19 October 2013, jointly with two prestigious events: the annual EGU Leonardo Conference, and the Hydrofractals Conference that takes place every 10 years. Each of the above events had its own dynamic, but they all focused on a common idea: the uncertainty in natural processes. The different views of the three components were apparent during the Kos convention.

Uncertainty has often been regarded as an opponent of science, whose task is to eliminate it or reduce it as much as possible. However, it has also been argued that uncertainty is intrinsic in nature, impossible to eliminate, and a quality with positive aspects. Understanding and quantifying uncertainty could make the understanding of Nature more feasible and its modelling more realistic. Therefore, the focus of the Kos convention was not only to contribute to uncertainty elimination, but to show how modelling can be combined with uncertainty estimation to improve the quality of models and predictions.

The Round Table panel: from the left, Alberto Montanari, Tim Cohn, Salvatore Grimaldi, Harry F. Lins, Stephen Hurst, Enda O'Connell, Demetris Koutsoyiannis, John Sutcliffe and Ayman Georges Awadallah.

One of the important highlights of the scientific programme was the Round Table entitled “The legacy of Harold Edwin Hurst in hydrological stochastics”. The British hydrologist H. E. Hurst spent 60 years studying the Nile for the Egyptian government, during which he laid the foundation of a monumental set of hydrological records and investigations. His studies of the size of reservoir needed to maintain a given supply from natural Nile flow series showed that this was significantly greater than that based on random series. This finding, known as the Hurst phenomenon, was confirmed in other natural series and, in connection with advances in theoretical and practical mathematics and statistics (illustrated by the works of Kolmogorov and Mandelbrot), has been fruitful in many scientific disciplines including economics, electronics and recently climatology. The Round Table, chaired by John V. Sutcliffe, aimed to celebrate Hurst's legacy; the participants focused on (a) his life and career, (b) his scientific contribution and (c) the links of his work to the advances to which it gave rise.

STAHY workshop participants at Asclepion.

Of significant importance also was the Poster Session, held at the archaeological site of Asclepion, a sacred and important monument recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site. About 50 posters were presented and many of the authors gave short oral overviews of their contributions, which were videoscoped and made available online at the IAHS/STAHY web site (

Presentation of the STAHY Best Paper Award: from the left, Ebru Eris, Salvatore Grimaldi, Emna Gargouri, Shih-Chieh Kao (co-author of the prize-winning paper), Christophe Cudennec.

The first STAHY Best Paper Award was presented during the IAHS-STAHY workshop. This award was recently established by the ICSH-IAHS Commission and is particularly competitive. The award was made for the best paper published in 2009-2010-2011 and listed at the STAHY website, website. The selection procedure includes three steps: the first ranks all the papers in term of SCOPUS citations (excluding self-citations). Then the first 20 are evaluated by the ICSH-IAHS Commission in order to identify a short list of five papers. A final deeper evaluation allows selection of the winner. This first award was assigned to the paper by S.-C. Kao and R.S. Govindaraju: A copula-based joint deficit index for droughts (2010) Journal of Hydrology 380 (1-2), 121-134. Dr Shih-Chieh Kao gave an invited lecture during the STAHY workshop.

The team at the National Technical University of Athens tried to combine an interesting scientific programme with pleasant social activities during the Kos convention. A high attendance in all sessions continued during the breaks and social events with socializing and networking of the delegates. It was unanimously agreed that this was a successful conference.


Demetris Koutsoyiannis & Salvatore Grimaldi
A detailed report is in progress at

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