Ricardo Mantilla

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I joined the faculty of the Civil Engineering Department at the University of Manitoba as an Associate Professor in July 2021 moving from the University of Iowa in the US where I was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. I obtained my PhD degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado in 2007 under the supervision of Prof. Vijay K Gupta, and my master's and bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering at Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin under the supervision of professors Oscar Mesa and German Poveda. My research focus has been the role of self-similarity in river network topology, and in hydraulic geometric variables, in shaping the magnitude, duration, and frequency of floods in space and time. My theoretical developments led to the development of a statewide flood forecasting system (IFC-FFS) for the state of Iowa (US). The statewide implementation of the distributed model requires that the equations describing water movement in the landscape be solved using High-Performance Computing (HPC) resources. Some of the results from the model are made available to the public through the Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) web platform. I am currently using theoretical insights and computational modeling to predict how climatic and anthropogenic changes to the landscape will alter flood and drought regimes for different climatic regions in the world.

Civil Engineering
Water Resources
Hydrology, Flood Forecasting, Flood Frequency Estimation, River Networks, Nonlinear Dynamical Systems
There are currently no positions open.

My research is on Surface Hydrology. I continue to expand the work that I started in my PhD dissertation on the Physical Basis of Statistical Self-Similarity in Peak Flows for Random Self-Similar Networks, which was supervised by my former advisor Prof. Vijay Gupta. Through this work, I investigated the two basic physical components that explain the power-law exponents observed in the relationship between Peak Flows and Basin Area at the single storm scale. These two components are River Network Topology and Network Hydraulic Geometry.

I am one of the architects of HidroSig, a GIS developed by the Water Resources Department at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I am now working on a more specialized version of the software that we call the Hillslope-Link Model (HLM) model. This new application is designed specifically to predict flows in River Networks.

I am currently working on the development of Hydrologic Observatories to test the predictions of the Theory of Floods. These predictions include power laws in event-scale peak flows and connections of characteristics of the flood frequency distribution to changing climatic conditions.

1. Mantilla R, Perez G, Velasquez N, Wright DB, Yu G, Regional Flood Frequency Analysis Using Physics-based Hydrologic Modeling, Water Resources Research, (Under review – preprint available online), 2021

2. Krajewski, W., Ghimire, G., Demir, I., Mantilla R., Real-Time Streamflow Forecasting: AI vs. Hydrologic Insights, Journal of Hydrology, (Under review), 2021

3. Perez G., Gomez-Velez J. D., Mantilla R., Wright D. B., Li, Z., The Effect of Storm Direction on Flood Frequency Analysis: Using Physics-Based Streamflow Simulations, Geophysical Research Letters, (Under review), 2021

4. Fonley M, Qiu K, Velasquez N, Haut N, Mantilla R, Development and Evaluation of an ODE Representation of 3D Subsurface Tile Drainage Flow Using the HLM Flood Forecasting System, Water Resources Research, (Accepted – in press), 2021

5. Jadidoleslam, N., Goska R, Mantilla R, Krajewski, W.F., Hydrovise: A non-proprietary open-source software for hydrologic model and data visualization and evaluation, Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 134, 2020

6. Velasquez, N., Mantilla, R. Limits of Predictability of a Global Self-Similar Routing Model in a Local Self-Similar Environment. Atmosphere, 11, 791, 2020

7. Quintero, F., W. F. Krajewski, B. Seo, R. Mantilla, Improvement and evaluation of the Iowa Flood Center Hillslope Link Model (HLM) by calibration-free approach, Journal of Hydrology, Volume 584, 2020

8. Bressan F., Mantilla R., Schilling K. E., Palmer J. A. & Weber L., Hydrologic-hydraulic modeling of sediment transport along the main stem of a watershed: role of tributaries and channel geometry, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 65:2, 183-199, 2020

9. Perez, G., Mantilla, R., Krajewski, W. F., & Wright, D. B. Using physically based synthetic peak flows to assess local and regional flood frequency analysis methods. Water Resources Research, 55. 2019.

10. Fonley, M.; Mantilla, R.; Curtu, R. Doing Hydrology Backwards—Analytic Solution Connecting Streamflow Oscillations at the Basin Outlet to Average Evaporation on a Hillslope. Hydrology 6, 85, 2019.

Current Students