Paolo Paron PhD

Senior Lecturer in Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development


Dr. Paolo Paron has 15+ years professional experience working in Humanitarian (United Nations & NGOs), Academic, and Private Sectors, mainly in developing countries. From 2005 to 2011 he was based in Nairobi, Kenya, working for a variety of international organizations and private companies, and carrying out work in Somalia, Ghana, Kenya, Afghanistan and Australia. During the same period he spent some time as visiting associate at the universities of Oxford (UK) and Darwin (Australia), researching on mapping and remote sensing in geomorphology and environmental change.

Paolo graduated in Geology in the year 2000 with a MSc research on Field Geology (110/110 cum laude) at the University of Roma3, Italy. He then got his PhD in Fluvial geomorphology at the University of Chieti, in Italy, in early 2005. In Italy Paolo consulted for several environmental geological companies on field mapping and GIS & Remote Sensing.
In March 2011 he joined the IHE Delft as a Senior Lecturer in Earth Science and Remote Sensing in the chair group of Hydraulic Engineering - River Basin Development.

Research & Teaching Interests

  1. Geomorphological mapping and digital terrain analysis: semi-automatic digital mapping of fluvial geomorphology, and soil/vegetation dynamic.
  2. Kite Aerial Photography (KAP) and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV):  KAP and UAV systems, historical aerial photography, and more 'traditional' optical remote sensing data & methods   for landscape change detection analysis and monitoring.
  3. Natural hazards in developing countries: assessment and mapping of geological and geomorphological hazards in the framework of developing countries, using freely available data.
  4. Sediments transport at basin scale: assessment of sediment production, transport and deposition at basin scale for reservoir siltation problems, sediment fingerprinting.

The countries where he has been working so far are (not in any particular order): Somalia, Kenya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, Namibia, Ghana, Mozambique, Australia, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, United Kingdom.

His teaching activities at IHE include:

He has supervised MSc theses at IHE and at the University of Nairobi, Kenya.

MSc topics to be developed:

  • Remote sensing assessment of soil moisture dynamics along the southern part of the Zambezi delta
  • Wetlands change detection in the Southern Zambezi Delta
  • Semi-automated fluvial geomorphological mapping of the Lower Zambezi River
  • DEM generated using Kite Aerial Photography, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and terrestrial DGPS survey: assessing hydrological errors for hydraulic use
  • UAV very high resolution DEM generation and analysis for hydrological analysis
  • UAV very high resolution DEM generation and analysis for monitoring coastal evolution
  • Semi-automated geomorphological mapping of floodplains for flood zonation assessment

Paolo reviews scientific papers for Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, and the Journal of Maps. He is editor and contributor of three books with Elsevier: "Geomorphological mapping methods and applications", "Kenya a Natural Outlook" and "Hydro-Meteorological Hazards, Risks and DIsasters"

He has edited two Atlases of Somalia for the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, and a digital Atlas of Afghanistan for the NGOs iMMAP.
Paolo is the initiator and leader of an international working group on Applied Geomorphological Mapping (, under the auspices of the International Association of Geomorphologists (; he chairs thematic sessions at international conferences (regularly at IAG, EGU).



  • Paron P., Olago D. (in preparation). Geomorphological Landscapes of East Africa. Springer Verlag, Geomorphological Landscapes of the world series.

    Paron, P., & Di Baldassarre, G. (Editors), 2014. Hydro-Meteorological Hazards, Risks, Disasters. Elsevier science, Hazards & Disasters Series, Series Editor: J.F. Schroder Jr.

    Paron, P., Olago, D.O., Omuto, C.T., (Editors), 2013. Kenya: a natural outlook. Geo-Environmental Resources and Hazards. Elsevier science, Developments in Earth Surface Processes Series, Series Editor: J.F. Schroder Jr.

    Smith, M., Paron , P., Griffiths, J. (Editors), 2011. Geomorphological Mapping methods and applications. Elsevier, The Netherlands, 612 p.

    Balint, Z., Njeru, L., Pappas, C., Paron , P. (Editors), 2010. Atlas of the Juba and Shabelle Rivers in Somalia. FAO-SWALIM, Nairobi, Kenya

         Balint Z. & Paron P. (Editors), 2009. Atlas of Somali Water and Land Resources. FAO-SWALIM, 162 p, Nairobi, Kenya.

Papers & Proceedings


  • 2017

    Crosato A, Paron P., & Salih Y.A., 2017 (accepted).  A critical review of Nile Basin sediment and morphological processes: present issues and future challenges. IJRBM


    Geeraert N., Omengo F.O., Tamooh F., Paron P., Bouillon S., Govers G. (2015) Sediment yield of the lower Tana River, Kenya, is insensitive to dam construction: sediment mobilization processes in a semi-arid tropical river system. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms,

    Omer, A. Y. A., Ali, Y. S. A., Roelvink, J. A., Dastgheib, A., Paron, P., and Crosato A. (2015). Modelling of sedimentation processes inside Roseires Reservoir (Sudan). Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 223-238, 2015


    Kassim I.A.R., Moloney G., Busili A., Nur A.Y., Paron P., Jooste P., Gadain H., and Seal A.J., 2014. Iodine intake in Somalia is excessive and associated with the source of household drinking water: Results of a national household survey. The Journal of Nutrition, J. Nutr. jn.113.176693; first published online February 5, 2014. doi:10.3945/jn.113.176693



    Paron, P., 2013. Natural Hazards and Disasters in Developing Countries. In: Bobrowsky, P. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards, Springer Editor, Germany.

    Omer A.Y.A., Ali Y.S.A., Crosato A., Paron P. Roelvink J.A., Dastgheib A., 2013. Modelling of sedimentation processes inside Roseires Reservoir (Sudan). Earth Surf. Dynam. Discuss., 1, 1–27, 2013,, doi:10.5194/esurfd-1-1-2013


    Brandimarte, L., Paron P., Di Baldassarre, G., 2012. Bridge pier scour: a review of processes, measurements and estimates. Environmental Engineering and Management Journal, 5, 975-989.


    Griffiths, J.S., Smith M., & Paron, P., 2011. Introduction to applied geomorphological mapping. In: Smith, M., Paron, P., and Griffiths, J. (eds.) Geomorphological Mapping: Methods and Applications: 3-12.

    Smith, M, Griffiths, J S, & Paron, P., 2011. The future of geomorphological mapping. In: Smith, M., Paron, P., and Griffiths, J. (eds.) Geomorphological Mapping: Methods and Applications: 589-594.

    Paron, P., & Claessens, L., 2011. Makers and users of geomorphological maps. In: Smith, M., Paron, P., and Griffiths, J. (2011): Geomorphological mapping methods and applications. Elsevier: 75-106.


    Murphy, B., Paron, P., Prior, L.D., Boggs, G.S., Franklin, D.C., Bowman, DMJS., 2010. Using autoregressive error models to understand fire-vegetation-soil feedbacks: a case study of the mulga shrubland-spinifex grassland mosaic. J. of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02359.x

    Omuto, C.T., Vargas., R.R., Alim, M.S., Paron, P., 2010. Mixed-effects modelling of time series NDVI-rainfall relationship for detecting human-induced loss of vegetation cover in drylands. Journal of Arid Environments, doi: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2010.04.001

    Paron, P. & Smith, M.J., 2008. Editorial: Applied Geomorphological Mapping. Journal of Maps, v2008, 197-200.

    Before 2010

    Paron, P. & Goudie, A.S., 2007. Preliminary results about mapping and geomorphological correlation of tiger bush (Brusse tigree) in Somalia, from a remote sensing and GIS analysis perspective. In: Goudie, A.S., and Kalvoda, I. (Ed). Geomorphological variations. Nakladatelstvi p3k Editor: 59-86, Prague.

    Dibari, F., Seal, A. & Paron, P., 2005. Applying GIS to Nutrition surveys. Field Exchange, 26: 29-32.

    Miccadei, E., Paron, P. & Piacentini, T., 2004. The SW escarpment of Montagna del  Morrone (Abruzzi, Central Italy): geomorphology of a fault-generated mountain front. Geografia Fisica e Dinamica Quaternaria, 27: 55-87, Torino.

    D’alessandro, L., Caputo, C., Buccolini, M., Miccadei, E., Piacentini, T., Scalella, G., Paron, P., Ricci, F., 2003. Geomorphological Framework of the Abruzzi Shores. In: OZHAN E. Ed., Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Mediterranean Coastal Environment, MEDCOAST 03, Ravenna, Italy: 1505-1516.

         Orlando, P., Amici, M., Altieri, A., Massari, P., Miccadei, E., Onofri, A., Orlando, C., Paolelli, C., Paron, P., Perticaroli, P., Piacentini, T., Silvestri, C., Belli, M., Marchetti,, A., Petrocchi, A., Serva, L., Singh, G., Tommasino, L., Minach, L., Verdi, L., Bertolo, A., Trotti, F.,    2000. Il sistema informativo territoriale per la valutazione del Potenziale di Emanazione di Radon dal Suolo. Serie “Stato dell’ambiente” 9/2000, 63pp. ANPA, Roma. (Title translation “A GIS for the evaluation of Potential of Exhalation of Radon gas from the Soil”)



G. Ferrero, N.J. Gulamussen, E.I. Nguluve, H. Armindo, J. Weststrate, P. Paron, M. Rusca, 2017. Governance of drinking water quality in Maputo, Mozambique. IWA Water &Development congress, Buenos Aires, 13-17 Nov 2017

Guillois M., Brocheray S., Paron P., 2017. Drone photogrammetry for geological research: field digital stratigraphic logs for turbiditic reservoir analog studies in Calabria, Southern Italy. Accepted at EGU2017, Session SSS12.6/GI2.13/GM3.9 Unmanned Aerial Systems: Platforms, Sensors and Applications in Soil, Agriculture and Geosciences.


Tsertou A., Amditis A., Kallioras A., Frangakis N., Cohen B., Jonoski A., Popescu I., Paron P., Nichersu I., Miorandi D., Hughes T., Simeone L., Markou M.,  Hulea D. & Miska M. (2016) SCENT - Smart Toolbox for Engaging Citizens into a People-Centric Observation Web. Presented at: COWM2016 - International Conference on Citizen Observatories for Water Management, Venice, 7-9 June 2016


Fouchy, K., Wright, C., Paron, P., Bogaard, T., Wenninger, J., Conallin, J., McClain, M., 2014. Water Quality assessment of agricultural runoff in the Mara River Basin, Kenya. Presented at the 3rd International Conference on Ecohydrology, Soil and Climate Change, EcoHCC'14, Tomar - Portugal, 10-12 September 2014.

Schumann G., Niebuhr, E., Rashid, K., Escobar, V., Andreadis, K. M., Njoku, E.,  Neal, J. C., Voisin, N., Pappenberger, F., Phanthuwongpakdee, N., Bates, P. D., Chao, Y., Moller, D., and Paron, P., 2014. Environmental modeling in data-sparse regions: Mozambique demonstrator case. AGU Fall meeting, San Francisco, 15-19 December 2014

Njati, S., Graas S., and Paron P., 2014. Vulnerability of coastal mangroves to hydrological alterations in the Zambezi delta - Mozambique . International conference “Contemporary Evolution of African Floodplains and Deltas” (AFRIDELTA). Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, 27-30 May 2014

Paron, P., Smith, MJ., Anders, N., Meesuk, V., 2014. Quality of DEMs derived from Kite Aerial Photogrammety System: a case study of Dutch coastal environments. EGU2014 Proceedings, Session SSS0.8

Geeraert, N., Ochieng Omengo, F.O., Tamooh, F., Paron, P., Bouillon, S., Govers, G., 2014. The internal strength of rivers: autogenic processes in control of the sediment load (Tana River, Kenya). EGU2014 Proceedings.


Paron P., Smith M.J., 2013. Kite Aerial Photogrammetry System for monitoring coastal change in the Netherlands. Proceedings of the 8th IAG/AIG International Conference, Paris.

Paron P., Goudie A., Smith M.J., 2013. Geomorphological Virtual Tours: multimedia e-books for undegraduate education. Proceedings of the 8th IAG/AIG International Conference, Paris.

Paron P., von Hagen C., Disperati S.P., Hermanshya B., Shaheen I., Jan Q.M., Berloffa A., Khan R., Fakhre A., 2013. A humanitarian preparedness toolbox: estimating flood affected figures and exposure of livelihoods to future floods events, using freely available datasets. EGU2013 Proceedings, session NH 9.13.


Paron, P., 2012. Geomorphological maps and concepts for non-geomorphologists: a review of opportunities and recommendations for future developments. Presentation at the IAG/AIG Workshop on Objective Geomorphological Mapping, held in Salerno 15-17 October 2012.

Guida, D., Cestari, A., Cuomo, A., Dramis, F., Palmieri, V., Paron, P., Siervo, V., 2012. The geomorphological informative mapping system of Salerno University: an overview. Presentation at the IAG/AIG Workshop on Objective Geomorphological Mapping, held in Salerno 15-17 October 2012.

Guida, D., Palmieri, V., Paron, P., Siervo, V., 2012. The Salerno University Geomorphological Informative Mapping System (GmIS_UniSa): application to a polygenetic Mediterranean landscape (Cilento and Vallo di Diano European Geopark). Presentation at the IAG/AIG Workshop on Objective Geomorphological Mapping, held in Salerno 15-17 October 2012.

 Cuomo, A., Dramis, F., Guida, D., Cestari, A., Palmieri, V., Paron, P., Siervo, V., 2012. Hierarchical, multiscale, objective, oro-hydrography mapping: from continental (Europe) at the national level (Italy). Poster at the IAG/AIG Workshop on Objective Geomorphological Mapping, held in Salerno 15-17 October 2012.


Omuto, C.T. & Paron, P., 2011. Improved spatial prediction of soil properties and soil types combining semi-automated landform classification, geostatistics and mixed effect modelling. In: Geomorphometry 2011, edited by T. Hengl, I. S. Evans, J. P. Wilson and M. Gould, 83-86. Redlands, CA, 2011.

Paron, P., Vargas Rojas, R., & Omuto, C.T., 2011. Integrated landform mapping: methodology and application for digital soil mapping in Somalia. Poster accepted at the IAG/AIG Regional Conference on Geomorphology 2011: Geomorphology for Human Adaptation to Changing Tropical Environments Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 18-22, 2011

Paron, P., & Munro, R.N., 2011. Analysis of environmental change in the Horn of Africa using Historical aerial photography archives. Poster accepted at the IAG/AIG Regional Conference on Geomorphology 2011: Geomorphology for Human Adaptation to Changing Tropical Environments Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, February 18-22, 2011


Paron , P., 2010. ACCESS-HAPA Analysis of Climate Change in Environmental and Social Studies through Historical Aerial Photography Archives. Africa Agriculture GIS Week, ILRI-Nairobi. June, 8-12 June (Winner of the prize for the most innovative medium for potential high impact).

Pre 2010

Berti, C., Paron , P., & Miccadei, E., 2009. Drainage geomorphometry for improved flood forecasting in data poor environment: Juba and Shabelle Rivers, Somalia. Poster presented at the 7th International Conference on Geomorpholoy, 6-11 July, 2009, Melbourne, Australia.

Pain, C., Paron, P. & Smith, M.J., 2008 - Applied Geomorphological Mapping (AppGeMa): a working group of the International Association of Geomorphologists. EGU General Assembly, Vienna, April 2008

D'Alessandro, L., Genevois, R., Paron, P. & Ricci, F., 2004. Type and distribution of rainfall-triggered landslides in the Abruzzi region (Central Italy) after the January 2003 meteoric event. Topical Symposia T-11.13 "Rapid moving landslide: monitoring, hazard and risk evaluation", 32nd International Geological Congress (IGC), August 20-28, 2004, Florence, Italy.

Miccadei, E. & Paron, P., 2003. Geomorphological analyses, through GIS based applications, of the Tasso creek valley (Parco Nazionale d'Abruzzo Lazio e Molise, Central Italy). Proceedings of the "4th European Congress on Regional Geoscientific Cartography and Information Systems", vol. 2: 496-497

Miccadei, E., Paron, P., Piacentini, T., 2002. Geomorphologic evolution of the Castel di Sangro plain (Central Italy) with GIS applications. International symposium “Geomorphology: from Expert Opinion to Modelling”, a tribute to Prof. Jean-Claude Flageollet, 26-27 April 2002, University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France.

Cecili, A., Barberi, R., Capelli, G., Miccadei, E. & Paron, P., 2001. Applicazioni GIS per il miglioramento degli schemi idrogeologici e la definizione dei rischi geomorfologici nel foglio 357 Cittaducale. Abstract IV Workshop sull’Informatizzazione della Carta Geologica d’Italia (Progetto CARG) - Qualita, Diffusione e Utilizzo dei dati CARG, Certosa di Pontignano (Siena), 26-27 Novembre 2001, 59.

Miccadei, E., Barberi, R., Paron, P. & Piacentini, T., 2001. The geomorphological role of the intermontane basins in the Central Apennines chain building. Abstract Workshop MURST - Uplift and Erosion: driving processes and resulting landforms. Certosa di Pontignano (Siena, Italy), September 20-21, 2001: 55.

Miccadei, E., Barberi, R., Paron, P. & Piacentini, T., 2001. The morphogenesis of Central Apennines (Central Italy): a contribution concerning the role of intermontane basins. Presented at the 5th International Conference on Geomorphology, Tokio 23-28 August 2001.


Project Reports


Paron, P. et al (2016). The potential for Subsurface Water Storage in the Nakhon Phanom Province in Thailand. Report to be submitted to ADB for the ADB SWS Project.

Paron, P. 2015. WWF Mozambique 2015-2020 Strategy on the Lower Zambezi River Landscape. Final Draft Report submitted to WWF Mozambique

Paron, P. 2015. Geomorphology of the whole Rufiji River basin (Tanzania). Chapter submitted to CDM Smith, for the EFA study of the Rufiji basin (project funded by USAID).

Crosato, A. & Paron, P. 2015. Geomorphological Reconnaissance Survey and Effects of Water Withdrawal in the Kilombero Basin (Tanzania). Report submitted to CDM Smith, for the EFA study of the Rufiji basin (project funded by USAID).

Paron, P. 2014. Back to the Office report of a Reconnaissance geomorphological survey to the Kilombero River valley (Tanzania). Report submitted to CDM Smith, for the EFA study of the Rufiji basin (project funded by USAID).

Khan, O., Paron, P., Crosato A. 2014. Feasibility Study to Reconnect the Salone River to the main Zambezi - A hydro-geomorphological approach. Final report submitted to WWF.

Khan, O. & Paron, P., 2013. Preliminary report on fieldwork conducted in the Salone River basin, Zambezi Delta. Submitted to WWF.

Paron P., 2013. Kite Aerial Photography Survey (KAPS): Zandmotor (South Holland). Report to Deltares R&D.

Vargas Rojas, R., Omuto, C., Paron, P., 2009. Soil erosion and sedimentation modeling and monitoring of the areas between rivers Juba and Shabelle in Southern Somalia. FAO SWALIM Report L-16

Paron, P., Vargas Rojas, R., Musse, S. A., Mumuli-Oduori, S., Monaci, L., Downie, M., Ndubi, A., 2007. Field Survey manual. Landform – Soil - Soil Erosion - Land Use – Land Cover. Prepared as support material for field data collection. FAO SWALIM, Project Report N° L- 01, January 2007, Nairobi, Kenya.

Paron, P., Vargas Rojas, R., 2007. Landform of Selected Study Areas in Somaliland and Southern Somalia. Integrated Landform Mapping Approach at semi-detailed scale using Remote Sensing and GIS techniques. FAOSWALIM. Project Report L-02, May 2007, Nairobi, Kenya.

Vargas Rojas, R., Pellika, P., Paron, P., 2007. Book of Abstracts of the expert workshop “Potentialities and Limitations in the use of Remote Sensing for detecting and monitoring environmental change in the Horn of Africa” 12 -13 of June 2007, Nairobi, Kenya. FAO-SWALIM.


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