Hubert, Pierre

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William C Ackermann

Pierre Hubert (1943-2020) was a French hydrologist/hydrogeologist. He worked at Ecole des Mines de Paris.


  • 1967 - Ingénieur de l’Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures de Paris
  • 1968 - DEA d’hydrologie-hydrogéologie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie
  • 1971 - Thèse, Université Pierre et Marie Curie: Etude par le tritium de la dynamique des eaux du Lac Léman. Apport du tritium à la limnologie physique

Scientific Career[edit]

  • From 1973 to 2007, P. Hubert was Chargé de recherche then Maître de recherche at the Centre d'Informatique Géologique of the Ecole des Mines de Paris.
  • After 2007, he was Chercheur émérite at Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris
  • As a young researcher, P. Hubert was first involved in the use of isotopes in hydrology and hydrogeology. He took part in the very first isotopic hydrograph separation that was published as soon as 1970.
  • In a second part of his scientific career, he was involved in studies on the economics of water and water management, developing approaches in mathematical modelling for simulation and optimization purposes. It is in this field of research that in 1986 he successfully defended his "Thèse d'Etat" on concepts and tools for Water Management
  • After 1984 he worked on the identification and modelling of time series and rainfall fields at a wide range of temporal and spatial scales, mostly related with developing regions of the world. He went to work in western Africa and in South America and took the opportunity to work with many local and regional scientists to whom he taught many of what was and still is a modern hydrology. He developed various statistical, geo-statistical, fractal and multi-fractal methods for rainfall fields and time series analysis. One of them, the "Segmentation procedure", is widely used.


Pierre Hubert received the Volker medal of the IAHS in 2015.

Activities in Secret Societies[edit]

Pierre Hubert was the Grand Satrape of a secret society called the Club International d'Hydrologie Sociale. This involved in particular chairing the Grand Banquet organized to celebrate the hydrological new year's eve (called in french the NASH - Nouvel An Socialement Hydrologique).

Community Service[edit]

  • P. Hubert served as President of the French IAHS section from 1990 to 1998 and as President of the French IUGG section from 1998 to 2000.
  • P. Hubert was the Secretary General of IAHS from 2000 until 2011. Re-elected twice, he was a particularly involved and efficient General Secretary, committed to facilitating the access to IAHS for developing countries, stimulating collaboration and partnership with UN water organisations (in particular UNESCO and WMO) and promoting the worldwide visibility of IAHS and his activities.
  • As a member of the IUGG Bureau, until 2018, Pierre Hubert remained a defender and promoter of the water sciences both for the scientific aspects and for the direct and unique link of hydrology with civil society.
  • P. Hubert served for many years on the jury of Prix Henri Milon (Société Hydrotechnique de France)


  • Mariotti et al. (1981) Experimental determination of nitrogen kinetic isotope fractionation : Some principles; illustration for the denitrification and nitrification processes. Plant and soil
  • Montanari et al. (2013) Panta Rhei-Everything Flows: Change in hydrology and society-The IAHS Scientific Decade 2013-2022. Hydrological Science Journal
  • Tessier et al. (1996) Multifractal analysis and modeling of rainfall and river flows and scaling, causal transfer functions. J. of Geophysical Research Atmospheres
  • Hubert et al. (1989) Segmentation des séries hydrométéorologiques - application à des séries de précipitations et de débits de l'Afrique de l'ouest. J Hydrology
  • Hubert et al. (1993) Multifractals and extreme rainfall events. Geophysical Research Letters
  • Lebel et al. (1992) Rainfall estimation in the sahel: The EPSAT-NIGER experiment. Hydrological Science Journal