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Steve Lyon

Professor i kvantitativ miljöhydrologi

Works at Institutionen för naturgeografi
Telephone +468164888
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room T 312
Postal address Stockholm University Institutionen för naturgeografi 106 91 Stockholm
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About me


Dr. Steve W. Lyon

Professor in Hydrology

Department of Physical Geography
Stockholm University 
106 91 Stockholm, Sweden 
Phone: (+46) 8 16 4888 




My research centers on identifying the underlying physical processes that determine how landscapes and water interact across scales and coevolve with time. Unraveling these feedbacks has significant implications for the viability of climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies associated with the current and future sustainability of coupled terrestrial and aquatic systems.



  • Information and modeling systems for land and water resources (GE7006)
  • Local to global water vulnerability and resilience (GE7025)
  • How to use Matlab to solve problems in environmental, climatological, and earth science research (BBCC PhD Course)
  • Ecohydrology: a Mediterranean perspective, co-taught with Stefano Manzoni (GE7049)
  • Reoccurring guest lecturer in Hydrology and Hydrogeology (GE5004), Biogeochemical Cycles (MO7013), Urbanization and Environment (KG7204) and several other courses



Current PhD Students and Postdocs

  • Dr. Madaka Tumbo (postdoc supervisor) - Tracer hydrology in data limited regions
  • Dr. Subira Munishi (postdoc supervisor) - Coupled land use and landscape changes
  • William Senkondo (main supervisor) - Modeling hydrology and water resources of the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania
  • Orn-uma (Ni) Polpanich (main supervisor) - Rethinking hydrological modeling for sustainable water resource development (at Uppsala University)
  • Norris Lam (main supervisor) - Improved streamflow and flood monitoring using LiDAR data
  • Alexander Koutsouris (main supervisor) - Modelling water resources effects of land-water management in Tanzania, Africa
  • Charlotta Högberg (minor supervisor) - Isotopes in the upper atmosphere
  • Edmond Alavaisha (minor supervisor) - Biodiversity and ecosystem services in Kilombero Valley, Tanzania
  • Dmytro Kyryliuk (minor supervisor) - Combining ocean color remote sensing and hydrological parameters for evaluating the effect of terrestrial run-off on coastal ecology
  • Rene Mbanguka (minor supervisor) - Modelling water resources effects of land-water management in Tanzania, Africa

 Former PhD Students and Postdocs


Selected Publications

(full publication list)

Ten most recent publications

Bogaart, P.W., Y. van der Velde, S.W. Lyon, S.C. Dekker (2016) Stream flow recession patterns can help unravel the role of climate and humans in landscape co-evolution, Hydrological and Earth Systems Science, in press.

Matti, B., H.E. Dahlke, S.W. Lyon (2016) On the variability of cold region flooding, Journal of Hydrology, 534, 669-679, doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.01.055.

Sjöberg, Y., E. Coon, A.B.K. Sannel, R. Pannetier, D. Harp, A. Frampton, S.L. Painter, S.W. Lyon (2016) Thermal effects from groundwater flow through a subarctic fen – a case study based on field observations and numerical modeling, Water Resources Research, in press.

Juston, J., S.W. Lyon, G. Destouni (2016) Data-driven nutrient-landscape relationships across region and scale, Water Environmental Research, in press.

Nickman, A., P. Jansson, S.W. Lyon, B. Olofsson (2016) Simulating the impact of roads on hydrological responses: examples from Swedish terrain, Hydrology Research, in press.

Winterdahl, M., H. Laudon, S.W. Lyon, C. Pers, K. Bishop (2016) Sensitivity of stream dissolved organic carbon to temperature and discharge: implications for future climates, Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences, 121(1), 126-144.

Dahlke, H.E., M.T. Walter, S.W. Lyon, A. Sharma, S. Leung, A. Williamson (2015) Using concurrent DNA tracer injections to infer glacial flow pathways, Hydrological Processes, 29, 5257-5274, doi:10.1002/hyp.10679.

Koutsouris, A.J., D. Chen, S.W. Lyon (2016) Comparing global precipitation datasets in Eastern Africa: a case study of Kilombero Valley, Tanzania, International Journal of Climatology, 36, 2000-2014, doi:10.1002/joc.4476.

Harpold, A.A., J.A. Marshall, S.W. Lyon, T.B. Barnhart, B. Fisher, M. Donovan, K.M. Brubaker, C.J. Crosby, N.F. Glenn, C.L. Glennie, P.B. Kirchner, N. Lam, K.D. Mankoff, J.L. McCreight, N.P. Molotch, K.N. Musselman, J. Pelletier, T. Russo, H. Sangireddy, Y. Sjöberg, T. Swetnam, N. West (2015) Laser Vision: Lidar as a Transformative Tool to Advance Critical Zone Science, Hydrological and Earth Systems Science, 19, 2881-2897, doi:10.5194/hess-19-2881-2015.

Lyon, S.W., M. Nathanson, N. Lam, H. Dahlke, M. Rutzinger, J.W. Kean, H. Laudon (2015) Can low-resolution airborne laser scanning data be used to model stream rating curves?, Water, 7, 1324-1339, doi:10.3390/w7041324.

Ten most cited publications

McDonnell, J., K. McGuire, P. Aggarwal, K. Beven, D. Biondi, G. Destouni, S. Dunn, A. James, J. Kirchner, P. Kraft, S. Lyon, P. Maloszewski, B. Newman, L. Pfister, A. Rinaldo, A. Rodhe, T. Sayama, J. Seibert, K. Solomon, C. Soulsby, M. Stewart, D. Tetzlaff, C. Tobin, P. Troch, M. Weiler, A. Western, A. Wörman, S. Wrede (2010), How old is the water? Open questions in catchment transit time conceptualization, modelling and analysis, Hydrological Processes, 24(12), 1745-1754, doi:10.1002/hyp.7796.

Lyon, S.W., M.T. Walter, P. Gérard-Marchant, and T.S. Steenhuis (2004), Using a topographic index to distribute variable source area runoff predicted with the SCS-curve number equation, Hydrological Processes, 18(15), 2757-2771.

Agnew, L.J., S.W. Lyon, P. Gérard-Marchant, V.B. Collins, A.J. Lembo, T.S. Steenhuis, and M.T. Walter (2006), Identifying hydrologically sensitive areas: Bridging the gap between science and application, Journal of Environmental Management, 78, 63-76.

Lyon, S.W., G. Destouni, R. Giesler, C. Humborg, M. Mörth, J. Seibert, J. Karlsson, and P.A. Troch (2009), Estimation of permafrost thawing rates in a sub-arctic catchment using recession flow analysis, Hydrology and Earth Systems Sciences, 13, 595-604, doi:10.5194/hess-13-595-2009.

Heidbüchel, I., P.A. Troch, S.W. Lyon, and M. Weiler (2012), The master transit time distribution of variable flow systems, Water Resources Research, 48, 6, doi:10.1029/2011WR011293.

Lyon, S.W., A.J. Lembo, M.T. Walter, and T.S. Steenhuis (2006), Defining probability of saturation with indicator kriging on hard and soft data, Advances in Water Resources, 29(2), 181-193.

Broxton, P.D., P.A. Troch, and S.W. Lyon (2009), On the role of aspect to quantify water transit times in small mountainous catchments, Water Resources Research, 45, W08427, doi:10.1029/2008WR007438.

Lyon, S.W. and G. Destouni (2010), Changes in catchment-scale recession flow properties in response to permafrost thawing in the Yukon River Basin, International Journal of Climatology, 30, 14, 2138-2145.

Lyon, S.W., J. Seibert, A.J. Lembo, M.T. Walter, and T.S. Steenhuis (2006), Geostatistical investigation into the temporal evolution of spatial structure in a shallow water table, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 10, 113-125, doi:10.5194/hess-10-113-2006.

Lyon, S.W., S.L.E. Desilets, and P.A. Troch (2009), A tale of two isotopes: Differences in hydrograph separation for a runoff event when using dD vs. d18O, Hydrological Processes, 23(4), 2095-2101, doi:10.1002/hyp.7326.