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Water Resources Research Editors Honor Erkan Istanbulluoglu’s Research for Significance


January 1, 2017

A Picture of  Erkan Istanbulluoglu
Erkan Istanbulluoglu

A study published by a team of researchers including associate professor Erkan Istanbulluoglu has received the 2015 Editor’s Choice Award from Water Resources Research (WWR) journal. The award is reserved for the top 1% of articles, recognizing the most significant studies published in the journal.

The researchers accepted the award at the American Geophysical Union’s (AGU) fall meeting in San Francisco, Calif., in December 2016. A leading journal that publishes original research in the natural and social sciences of water, WWR is published by AGU.

Co-authors include Istanbulluoglu’s former student Omer Yetemen (Ph.D. ’14), who is currently a lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia, former CEE postdoc Homero Flores, and collaborators Enrique Vivoni from the University of Arizona and Rafael Bras from Georgia Tech.

A Picture of CEE alumnus Omer Yetemen (Ph.D. ’14) accepts the award from Alberto Montanari, chief editor of Water Resources Research.
CEE alumnus Omer Yetemen (Ph.D. ’14) accepts the award from Alberto Montanari, chief editor of Water Resources Research.

The researchers advanced river watershed modeling by developing a numerical model of landscape evolution, detailed in the study “Ecohydrologic role of solar radiation on landscape evolution.” The new model allowed them to investigate the role of solar radiation on watershed evolution, particularly in asymmetric valleys with steep, long polar-facing slopes and shallow, equatorial-facing slopes that branch out in various directions. The new model helps explain hillslope asymmetry, which has been studied by earth scientists for decades.

A related paper co-authored by Istanbulluoglu, Yetemen and Alison Duvall, UW Earth and Space Sciences assistant professor, received the AGU’s 2016 Luna B. Leopold Young Scientist Award. In this study, the researchers applied the numerical model developed in the first paper across a range of latitudes and developed a plausible explanation for latitudinal variation of hillslope asymmetry observed globally.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.