Back to top

Alain N. Rousseau

Areas of expertise

Hydrological modelling , Integrated watershed management

  • Professor



Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 rue de la Couronne Street
Québec, Quebec  G1K 9A9

See the research centre

Research interests

Professor Rousseau’s research ranges from the physics of hydrological processes to the development of software to assist in the forecast, management, and analysis of watershed-scale water resources.

There is growing demand for hydrological modelling tools that can be used to address water management problems such as forecasting inflows to reservoirs for hydropower planning, operating public dams to manage seasonal floods, managing contamination risks to drinking water sources, or evaluating agricultural clean-up policies concerning watershed water in a framework of sustainable development. To address these needs, analysts and decision-makers need robust tools and clear guidance on their capabilities and scope. At the same time, these tools need to be improved by including simulation models of hydrological processes and efficient algorithms for the physiographic characterization of watersheds.

The goal of Professor Rousseau’s team is to meet this growing demand. They are working to improve the PHYSITEL and HYDROTEL hydrological modelling tools and the GIBSI decision support system for integrated watershed management. The issues addressed by their research are in line with the strategic axes of the Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre: (i) environmental risks related to natural hazards and contamination, (ii) impacts of and adaptation to climate change and extreme events, and (iii) integrated management of water and mineral resources and land use planning. Other issues addressed reflect future challenges: northern hydrology (wetland modelling), water management in Quebec (e.g., water use coefficients), and regional and municipal water management (e.g., watershed organisms and watershed management plan assessment, assessment of the biological integrity of water bodies, assessment of the environmental benefits of beneficial management practices, determination of contamination risks for drinking water sources).


Abbesnezhadi, Kian; Rousseau, Alain N.; Foulon, Étienne & Savary, Stéphane (2021). Verification of Regional Deterministic Precipitation Analysis products using snow data assimilation for application in meteorological network assessment in sparsely gauged Nordic basinsJ. Hydrometeorol., 22 (4): 859-876.
DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-20-0106.1

Gonzalez Mora, Andrés F.; Larios, Araceli Dalila; Rousseau, Alain N.; Godbout, Stéphane; Morin, Cédric; Palacios, Joahnn H.; Grenier, Michèle & Fournel, Sébastien (2021). Assessing environmental control strategies in cage-free egg production systems: effect on spatial occupancy and natural behaviorsAnimals, 11 (1): Art. 17.
DOI: 10.3390/ani11010017

Lafond, Jonathan A., Gumière, Silvio José, Vanlandeghem, Virginie, Gallichand, Jacques, Rousseau, Alain N. & Dutilleul, Pierre (2021). Temporal and local heterogeneities of water table depth under different agricultural water management conditionsWater, 13 (16): Art. 2148.
DOI: 10.3390/w13162148

Ou, Yang; Rousseau, Alain N.; Yan, Baixing; Wang, Lixia & Zhang, Yu (2021). Grass barriers for mitigating diffuse pollution within a source water area – A case study of Northeast ChinaAgr. Water Manage., 143: Art. 106461.
DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2020.106461

Wu, Yanfeng, Zhang, Guangxin, Xu, Y. Jun & Rousseau, Alain N. (2021). River damming reduces wetland function in regulating flowJ. Water Res. Plan. Manage., 147 (10): Art. 05021014.
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0001434

Abbesnezhadi, Kian; Rousseau, Alain N. & Bohrn, Steven (2020). Mid-21st century anthropogenic changes in extreme precipitation and snowpack projections over Newfoundland. Can. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 45 (3): 216-236.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2020.1760140

Augas, Julien; Abbesnezhadi, Kian; Rousseau, Alain N. & Baraer, Michel (2020). What is the trade-off between snowpack stratification and simulated snow water equivalent in a physically-based snow model?. Water, 12 (12): Art. 3449.
DOI: 10.3390/w12123449

Celicourt, Paul; Gumière, Silvio José; Lafond, Jonathan A.; Gumière, Thiago; Gallichand, Jacques & Rousseau, Alain N. (2020). Automated mapping of water table for cranberry subirrigation management: comparison of three spatial interpolation methods. Water, 12 (12): Art. 3322.
DOI: 10.3390/w12123322

D’Andrea MF, Létourneau G, Rousseau AN & Brodeur JC (2020). Sensitivity analysis of the Pesticide in Water Calculator model for applications in the Pampa region of Argentina. Sci. Total Environ., 698: Art. 134232.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.134232

Doumbia, Cheick; Castellazzi, Pascal; Rousseau, Alain N. & Amaya, Macarena (2020). Corrigendum: High resolution mapping of ice mass loss in the Gulf of Alaska from constrained forward modeling of GRACE data. Front. Earth Sci., 8: Art. 57.
DOI: 10.3389/feart.2019.00360

Doumbia, Cheick; Castellazzi, Pascal; Rousseau, Alain N. & Amaya, Macarena (2020). High resolution mapping of ice mass loss in the Gulf of Alaska from constrained forward modeling of GRACE data. Front. Earth Sci., 7: Art. 360.
DOI: 10.3389/feart.2019.00360

Foulon, Étienne; Rousseau, Alain N.; Benoy, Glenn & North, Rebecca L. (2020). A global scan of how the issue of nutrient loading and harmful algal blooms is being addressed by governments, non-governmental organizations, and volunteers. Water Qual. Res. J., 55 (1): 1-23.
DOI: 10.2166/wqrj.2019.013

Gumière, Silvio José; Camporese, Matteo; Botto, Anne; Lafond, Jonathan A.; Paniconi, Claudio; Gallichand, Jacques & Rousseau, A. N. (2020). Machine learning vs. physics-based modeling for real-time irrigation management. Front. Water, 2: Art. 8.
DOI: 10.3389/frwa.2020.00008

Isabelle, Pierre-Erik; Nadeau, Daniel F.; Perelet, Alexei O.; Pardyjak, Eric R.; Rousseau, Alain N. & Anctil, François (2020). Application and evaluation of a two-wavelength scintillometry system for operation in a complex shallow boreal-forested valley. Boundary-Layer Meteorol., 174 (3): 341-370.
DOI: 10.1007/s10546-019-00488-7

Isabelle, Pierre-Erik; Nadeau, Daniel F.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Anctil, François; Jutras, Sylvain & Music, Biljana (2020). Impacts of high precipitation on the energy and water budgets of a humid boreal forest. Agr. Forest Meteorol., 280: Art. 107813.
DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2019.107813

Narancic, Biljana; Laurion, Isabelle; Wolff, Brent B.; Behmel, Sonja & Rousseau, Alain N. (2020). Seasonal contributions of water and pollutants to Lake St. Charles, a drinking water reservoir. Can. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 45 (2): 125-143.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2019.1706641

Sui, Yuanyuan; Ou, Yang; Yan, Baixing; Rousseau, Alain N.; Fang, Yunting; Geng, Runzhe; Wang, Lixia & Ye, Nan (2020). A dual isotopic framework for identifying nitrate sources in surface runoff in a small agricultural watershed, northeast China. J. Clean. Prod., 246: Art. 119074.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.119074

Wu, Yanfeng; Zhang, Guangxin & Rousseau, Alain N. (2020). Quantitative assessment on basin-scale hydrological services of wetlands. Sci. China Earth Sci., 63: 279-291.
DOI: 10.1007/s11430-018-9372-9

Wu, Yanfeng; Zhang, Guangxin; Rousseau, Alain N. & Jun Zu, Y. (2020). Quantifying streamflow regulation services of wetlands with an emphasis on quickflow and baseflow responses in the Upper Nenjiang River Basin, Northeast China. J. Hydrol., 583: Art. 124565.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.124565

Wu, Yanfeng; Zhang, Guangxin; Rousseau, Alain N.; Jun Xu, Y. & Foulon, Étienne (2020). On how wetlands can provide flood resilience in a large river basin: A case study in Nenjiang river Basin, China. J. Hydrol., 587: Art. 125012.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2020.125012

Abbesnezhadi, Kian; Rousseau, Alain N.; Koenig, Kristina A.; Zahmatkesh, Zahra & Wruth, Andrea M. (2019). Hydrological assessment of meteorological network density through data assimilation simulation. J. Hydrol., 569: 844-858.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.12.027

Abbesnezhadi, Kian; Rousseau, Alain N.; Wruth, Andrea M. & Zahmatkesh, Zahra (2019). Synchronized generation of high-resolution gridded precipitation and temperature fields. J. Hydrol., 573: 631-647.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.03.096

Bigah, Yao; Rousseau, Alain N. & Gumière, Silvio José (2019). Development of a steady-state model to predict daily water table depth and root zone soil matric potential of a cranberry field with a subirrigation system. Agr. Water Manage., 213: 1016-1027.
DOI: 10.1016/j.agwat.2018.12.024

Blanchette, Marianne; Rousseau, Alain N.; Foulon, Étienne; Savary, Stéphane & Poulin, Monique (2019). What would have been the impacts of wetlands on low flow support and high flow attenuation under steady state land cover conditions?. J. Environ. Manage., 234: 448-457.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.12.095

D’Andrea MF, Rousseau AN, Bigah Y, Gattinoni NN & Brodeur JC (2019). Trends in reference evapotranspiration and associated climate variables over the last 30 years (1984-2014) in the Pampa region of Argentina. Theor. Appl. Climatol., 136 (3-4): 1371-1386.    doi ; 10.1007/s00704-018-2565-7

Foulon, Étienne & Rousseau, Alain N. (2019). Surface water quantity for drinking water during low flows – Sensitivity assessment solely from climate data. Water Resour. Manage., 33 (1): 369-385.
DOI: 10.1007/s11269-018-2107-1

Gumière, Thiago; Gumière, Silvio José; Matteau, Jean-Pascal; Constant, Philippe; Létourneau, Guillaume & Rousseau, Alain N. (2019). Soil bacterial community associated with high potato production and minimal water use. Front. Environ. Sci., 6: Art. 161.
DOI: 10.3389/fenvs.2018.00161

Gumière, Thiago; Rousseau, Alain N.; Paes da Costa, Diogo; Cassetari, Alice; Raposo Cotta, Simone; Dini Andreote, Fernando; Gumière, Silvio José & Pavinato, Paulo Sergio (2019). Phosphorus source driving the soil microbial interactions and improving sugarcane development. Scientific Reports, 9 (1): Art. 4400.

Ou, Yang; Rousseau, Alain N.; Wang, Lixia; Yan, Baixing; Gumière, Thiago & Zhu, Hui (2019). Identification of the alteration of riparian wetland on soil properties, enzyme activities and microbial communities following extreme flooding. Geoderma, 337: 825-833.
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.10.032

Ratté-Fortin, Claudie; Rousseau, Alain N.; Thériault, Georges & Van Bochove, Eric (2019). Evaluating the effects of BMPs on agricultural contaminants using a novel method accounting for uncertainty in water flow and contaminant loads. Can. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 44 (3): 263-279.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2019.1581093

Samuel, Jos; Rousseau, Alain N.; Abbesnezhadi, Kian & Savary, Stéphane (2019). Development and evaluation of a hydrologic data-assimilation scheme for short-range flow and inflow forecasts in a data-sparse high-latitude region using a distributed model and ensemble Kalman filtering. Adv. Water Resour., 130: 198-220.
DOI: 10.1016/j.advwatres.2019.06.004

Wu, Yanfeng; Zhang, Guangxin; Qi, Peng; Rousseau, Alain N.; Hu, Baojun; Yan, Song & Gang, Yu Cheng (2019). Integration of wetland modules into the watershed hydrological model assessment of simulation accuracy. Adv. Water Sci., 30 (3): 326-336.
DOI: 10.14042/j.cnki.32.1309.2019.03.003

Blanchette, Marianne; Rousseau, Alain N. & Poulin, Monique (2018). Mapping Wetlands and Land Cover Change with Landsat Archives: The Added Value of Geomorphologic Data / Cartographie de la dynamique spatio-temporelle des milieux humides à partir d’archives Landsat: la valeur ajoutée de données géomorphologiquesCan. J. Remote Sens. / J. Can. Télédétection, 44 (4): 337-356.
DOI: 10.1080/07038992.2018.1525531

Foulon, Étienne; Rousseau, Alain N. & Gagnon, Patrick (2018). Development of a methodology to assess future trends in low flows at the watershed scale using solely climate dataJ. Hydrol., 557: 774-790.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.12.064

Isabelle, Pierre-Erik; Nadeau, Daniel F.; Asselin, Marie-Hélène; Harvey, Richard; Musselman, Keith N.; Rousseau, Alain N. & Anctil, François (2018). Solar radiation transmittance of a boreal balsam fir canopy: Spatiotemporal variability and impacts on growing season hydrologyAgr. Forest Meteorol., 263: 1-14.
DOI: 10.1016/j.agrformet.2018.07.022

Isabelle, Pierre-Erik; Nadeau, Daniel F.; Rousseau, Alain N. & Anctil, François (2018). Water budget, performance of evapotranspiration formulations, and their impact on hydrological modeling of a small boreal peatland-dominated watershedCan. J. Earth Sci. / Rev. Can. Sci. Terre, 55 (2): 206-220.
DOI: 10.1139/cjes-2017-0046

Alvarex, A. P., Rousseau, A. N., Savary, S. & Yu, X., (Eds). (2017) Inter-comparison study of PIHM and HYDROTEL beyond comparing streamflows. INRS Centre Eau Terre Environnement.

Clavet-Gaumont, Jacinthe; Huard, David; Frigon, Anne; Koenig, Kristina; Slota, Phillip; Rousseau, Alain N. & Klein, Iris (2017). Probable maximum flood in a changing climate: An overview for Canadian basinsJ. Hydrol. Regional Stud., 13: 11-25.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.07.003

Fournel, Sébastien; Rousseau, Alain N. & Laberge, Benoît (2017). Rethinking environment control strategy of confined animal housing systems through precision livestock farmingBiosyst. Eng., 155: 96-123.
DOI: 10.1016/j.biosystemseng.2016.12.005

Gagnon, Patrick; Rousseau, Alain N.; Charron, Dominique; Fortin, Vincent & Audet, René (2017). The added value of stochastic spatial disaggregation for short-term rainfall forecasts currently available in CanadaJ. Hydrol., 554: 507-516.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.08.023

Muma, Mushombe; Rousseau, Alain N. & Gumière, Silvio José (2017). Modeling of subsurface agricultural drainage using two hydrological models with different conceptual approaches as well as dimensions and spatial scalesCan. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 42 (1): 38-53.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2016.1231014

Périard, Yann; Gumière, Silvio José; Rousseau, Alain N.; Caillier, Micihel; Gallichand, Jacques & Caron, Jean (2017). Assessment of the drainage capacity of cranberry fields: Problem identification using soil clustering and development of a new drainage criterionCan. J. Soil Sci. / Rev. Can. Sci. Sol, 97 (1): 56-70.
DOI: 10.1139/cjss-2016-0018

Carrer, Gwenael E.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Jutras, Sylvain & Fossey, Maxime (2016). Assessment of the impact of pools on the water isotopic signature of a boreal patterned peatland: Hydrological ProcessesHydrol. Process., 30 (8): 1292-1307.
DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10715

Fossey, Maxime & Rousseau, Alain N. (2016). Assessing the long-term hydrological services provided by wetlands under changing climate conditions: A case study approach of a Canadian watershedJ. Hydrol., 541 part B: 1287-1302.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.08.032

Fossey, Maxime & Rousseau, Alain N. (2016). Can isolated and riparian wetlands mitigate the impact of climate change on watershed hydrology? A case study approachJ. Environ. Manage., 184 (Part 2): 327-339.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.09.043

Fossey, Maxime; Rousseau, Alain N. & Savary, Stéphane (2016). Assessment of the impact of spatio-temporal attributes of wetlands on stream flows using a hydrological modelling framework: a theoretical case study of a watershed under temperate climatic conditionsHydrol. Process., 30 (11): 1768-1781.
DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10750

Gagnon, Patrick; Sheedy, Claudia; Rousseau, Alain N.; Bourgeois, Gaétan & Chouinard, Gérald (2016). Integrated assessment of climate change impact on surface runoff contamination by pesticidesIntegr. Environ. Assess. Manag., 12 (3): 559-571.
DOI: 10.1002/ieam.1706

Hould-Gosselin, Gabriel; Rousseau, Alain N.; Gumière, Silvio José; Hallema, Dennis W.; Ratté-Fortin, Claudie; Thériault, Georges & Van Bochove, Eric (2016). Modeling the sediment yield and the impact of vegetated filters using an event-based soil erosion model – A case study of a small canadian watershedHydrol. Process, 30 (16): 2835-2850.
DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10817

Klein, Iris M.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Frigon, Anne; Freudiger, Daphné & Gagnon, Patrick (2016). Evaluation of probable maximum snow accumulation: Development of a methodology for climate change studiesJ. Hydrol., 537: 74-85.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.03.031

Muma, Mushombe; Rousseau, Alain N. & Gumière, Silvio José (2016). Assessment of the impact of subsurface agricultural drainage on soil water storage and flows of a small watershedWater, 8 (8): 326.
DOI: 10.3390/w8080326

Ou, Yang; Wang, Xiaoyan; Wang, Lixia & Rousseau, Alain N. (2016). Landscape influences on water quality in riparian buffer zone of drinking water source area, Northern ChinaEnviron. Earth Sci., 75 (2): Art. 114.
DOI: 10.1007/s12665-015-4884-7

Périard, Yann; Gumière, Silvio José; Long, Bernard F.; Rousseau, Alain N. & Caron, Jean (2016). Use of X-ray CT scan to characterize the evolution of the hydraulic properties of a soil under drainage conditionsGeoderma, 279: 22-30.
DOI: 10.1016/j.geoderma.2016.05.020

St-Hilaire, André; Duchesne, Sophie & Rousseau, Alain N. (2016). Floods and water quality in Canada: A review of the interactions with urbanization, agriculture and forestryCan. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 41 (1-2): 273-287.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2015.1010181

Sui, Yuanyuan; Ou, Yang; Yan, Baixing; Xu, Xiaohong; Rousseau, Alain N. & Zhang, Yu (2016). Assessment of Micro-Basin Tillage as a Soil and Water Conservation Practice in the Black Soil Region of Northeast ChinaPLoS ONE, 11 (3): art. e0152313.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0152313

Yu, Xuan; Duffy, Christopher J.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Bhatt, Gopal; Alvaro Pardo, Alvarez & Charron, Dominique (2016). Open science in practice: learning integrated modeling of coupled surface-subsurface flow processes from scratchEarth Space Sci., 3 (5): 190-206.
DOI: 10.1002/2015EA000155

Carrer, G. E.; Rousseau, A. N.; St-Hilaire, A. & Jutras, S. (2015). Mosaic surface storages of a small boreal catchmentHydrol. Process., 29 (6): 845-858.
DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10195

Fossey, M.; Rousseau, A. N.; Bensalma, F.; Savary, S. & Royer, A. (2015). Integrating isolated and riparian wetland modules in the PHYSITEL/HYDROTEL modelling platform: model performance and diagnosisHydrol. Process., 29 (22): 4683-4702.
DOI: 10.1002/hyp.10534

Gumière, S. J.; Bailly, J. S.; Cheviron, B.; Raclot, D.; Le Bissonnais, Y. & Rousseau, A. N. (2015). Evaluating the impact of the spatial distribution of land management practices on water erosion: Case study of a mediterranean catchmentJ. Hydraul. Eng., 20 (6): Art. C5014004.
DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HE.1943-5584.0001076

Gumière, Silvio José; Rousseau, Alain N.; Hallema, Dennis W. & Isabelle, Pierre-Erik (2015). CorrigendumCan. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 40 (2): 235-235.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2015.1017537

Isabelle, Pierre-Erik; Nadeau, Daniel F.; Rousseau, Alain N.; Coursolle, Carole & Margolis, Hank A. (2015). Applicability of the bulk-transfer approach to estimate evapotranspiration from boreal peatlandsJ. Hydrometeorol., 16: 1521-1539.
DOI: 10.1175/JHM-D-14-0171.1