Gu Weizu

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On May 28, 2011, Mr. Gu visited Baotu Spring in Jinan



Gu Weizu, March 3, 1932 – April 11, 2022


Professor Gu Weizu has been engaged in field hydrological experiments since he graduated from the Civil Engineering Department of Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1952. Professor Gu devoted himself to experimental hydrology in China for about 70 years. In 2004, he participated in editing the proceedings of the International Symposium on Hydrological Experiments. In 2007, he was invited to introduce Chinese experimental hydrology for 50 years at the Oregon State University. He is the author of the “Isotope Hydrology” in third edition of the Encyclopedia of China. He was awarded by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (2009) as the outstanding contributor of the field work.

Hydrological Achievements[edit]

In 1953, he directed the establishment of the first hydrological experimental station in China, i.e., Qinggou Drainage Experiment Station, which now develops to be the Wudaogou Experimental Station for Hydrology and Water Resource, in Bengbu city, Anhui province. In 1962, he designed and established a group of representative watersheds and large-scale discharge measuring constructions in the Chengxi Runoff Experiment Station, Chuzhou city, Anhui province. In 1964, he designed and established the Wudaogou Experimental Station for Hydrology and Water Resource, which includes a large group of lysimeters for mesuring phreatic evaporation. In 1978, he designed and established various experimental facilities and the hydrological experimental system across spatial scales at the Chuzhou Scientific Hydrology Laboratory (CSHL) in Chuzhou city, Anhui province, China. CSHL is famous for the novel Hydrohill catchment that is perhaps the largest public works effort in small catchment hydrology in the history of mankind.

The fundamental theory of hydrology and the experimental research of isotope hydrology have been developing in the CSHL. The experimental watersheds in CSHL are unique so far by foreign articles which discuss the environmental isotopes, uranium series radioisotopes, and noble gases in the hydrology foundation and large-scale water resources in the watershed. It is believed that some traditional concepts of rainfall runoff need to be revised because experiments have proved that six of eight assumptions in the popular isotope hydrograph separation methods are incorrect. Eleven types of runoff modes of three types of runoff components (surface runoff, interflow, and groundwater flow) have been observed through experiments. According to the portion of the “old” water to the total runoff from experimental results, four types of runoff combination were proposed by Professor Gu. He joined energetically in all IAEA workshops on isotope hydrology from 1987 to 2007. As an expert of this institution, he went to Mongolia for groundwater research from 1998 to 1999. Based the above, he mainly edited "Isotope Hydrology" which was published by Science Press in 2011.

Professor Gu conducted field experiments in the gobi of Alxa and the deserts of Inner Mongolia for four months per year during 11 years (1997-2007). Cooperating with German friends, he obtained the abnormal phenomenon of groundwater stable isotopes, and considered that the tall sandy mountains in the Badain Jaran Desert were formed by water. And then the main results were published in the Nature (cooperating with others), however he disagreed with some discussions in the article. He insisted that water conservancy projects in arid areas needs to be suspected. He presented hydrological experiments and isotopic studies in Austria, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Israel.

Professor Gu has been engaged in the research of "Experimental Hydrology" and "Isotope Hydrology" for a long time, and he is familiar with hydrological calculation and hydrological planning. Since the 1950s, he has been engaged in field hydrological experiments, and for the first time has carried out large-scale submerged evaporation observation and directed observation of separated runoffs in China. In the early 1980s, it was proposed to divide the sub-disciplines of "Experimental Hydrology", establish its system, and set up undergraduate and postgraduate courses of "Experimental Hydrology" and "Isotope Hydrology" for the first time in China. Since 1978, he has carried out the research of "Isotope Hydrology", and started from the isotope test and nuclear method of hydrological elements, and explored the fundamental theory of hydrology and isotope research on water resources in the watershed.

In terms of application basis, a national network of precipitation isotope stations in China has been established for the effort of Professor Gu. In terms of nuclear method research on groundwater resources in arid areas, groundwater research of 3,000 square kilometers in western Inner Mongolia has been completed by Professor Gu and coworkers. The experts of the Institute of Water Problems in the former Soviet Union commented that the groundwater research reached an advanced level in the world.

Professor Gu has published more than 50 papers on Experimental Hydrology and Isotope Hydrology in academic journals and proceedings at home and abroad, such as "Element composition of Chinese river water analyzed by neutron activation", "The response of inorganic water chemical ions in the process of rainfall and runoff in experimental watersheds and their tracing significance", etc. He written "Fundamentals of Hydrology" in 1983, Isotope Hydrology in 2011, “Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments” in 2018. In the chapter “Current Challenges in Experimental Watershed Hydrology” of the book “Contaminant hydrology and water resources sustainability”, he presented the concept of “Critical Zone Experimental Block” (CZEB) which can directed the development of experimental hydrology and critical-zone hydrology. And he participated in the writing of the monograph "Agricultural Hydrology", and written entries such as "hydrological nuclear technology" and "hydrological experimental research" in "Encyclopedia of China" and "Encyclopedia of Chinese Agriculture".


Reference Material[edit]

Selected Publications[edit]


顾慰祖,潘怡源译,《洪水估算与控制》,(B.D.Richards, Flood Estimation and Control, Chapman & Hall Ltd., London, 1955), 水利电力出版社,1958



Ru-Ze Xi, Wei-Zu Gu, Klaus-Peter Seiler, Eds. Research Basins and Hydrological Planning, Proceedings of the international Conference on Research Basins and Hydrological Planning, 22-31 March, Hefei. A.A. Balkema Publishers, 2004

顾慰祖主编 《同位素水文学》,北京:科学出版社,(2011),1113页 ,ISBN 978-7-03-031362-1

Jiu-Fu Liu and Wei-Zu Gu (edi) Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments. (2018) : London, United Kingdom, IntechOpen. Print ISBN 978-1-78923-558-6, Online ISBN 978-1-78923-559-3, ?


Gu, W.Z., J.-F. Liu, H. Lin, J. Lin, H.-W. Liu, A.-M. Liao, N. Wang, W.-Z. Wang, T. Ma, N. Yang, X.-G. Li, P. Zhuo, and Z. Cai. 2018. Why Hydrological maze: The hydropedological trigger? Review of experiments at Chuzhou Hydrology Laboratory. Vadose Zone Journal.17:170174. doi:10.2136/vzj 2017.09.0174

Wei-Zu Gu, Jiu-Fu Liu, Ai-Min Liao, Niu Wang, Jia-Ju Lu, Jin Lin,Hong-Wei Liu, Wen-Zhong Wang, Tao Ma, Zhao Cai, Min-Han Liao, Xue-Gang Li, Peng Zhuo, Na Yang.(2018). Practice on the Watershed Hydrological Experimental System reconciling deterministic and stochastic subjects based on the system complexity 1. Theoretical study. In: Jiu-Fu Liu and Wei-Zu Gu (edi) Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments. London: InTech. (ISBN 978-953-51-4969-9) , 227-251

Jiu-Fu Liu, Ai-Min Liao, Niu Wang, Jin Lin, Hong-Wei Liu, Wen-Zhong Wang, Tao Ma, Zhao Cai, Min-Han Liao, Xue-Gang Li, Peng Zhuo, Na Yang, Jia-Ju Lu, Wei-Zu Gu.(2018). Practice on the Watershed Hydrological Experimental System reconciling deterministic and stochastic subjects based on the system complexity 2. Practice and test. In: Jiu-Fu Liu and Wei-Zu Gu (edi) Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments. London: InTech. (ISBN 978-953-51-4969-9), 253- 281

杨 娜,刘九夫,廖爱民,王文种,郑 皓,林 锦,顾慰祖。皖北典型区高氟地下水的分布及影响因素。水文地质工程地质,2017,V44, N3:33-41

庞忠和,顾慰祖。纪念同位素水文学家Klaus Froehlich。水科学进展,2016,V27, N5.

Wei-Zu Gu, Jiu-Fu Liu, Jia-Ju Lu and Jay Frentress. Current Challenges in Experimental Watershed Hydrology. In: P Bradley (ed): Current Perspectives in Contaminant Hydrology and Water Resources Sustainability. INTECH publisher. 2013.

顾慰祖,尚熳廷,翟劭炎,陆家驹,Jason F, McDonnell JJ, Kendall C. 天然流域降雨径流现象发生的悖论。水科学进展, 2010, V21. N4. 471-478

顾慰祖,陆家驹,赵霞,Norman E Peters。无机水化学离子在实验流域降雨径流过程中的响应及其示踪意义。水科学进展, 2007, V18. N1. 1-7

Gu W.Z., Lu J. J., Wu Y. Identification of groundwater recharge sources by using of 234U excess and 34S for the arid Ejina-Badain Jaran Interior Basin of Alaxa Plateau in Inner Mongolia. Book of Abstract. International Symposium on Advances Role in Sustainable Water Resources