Oubanas Hind

Contact Info

Oubanas Hind
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INRAE - 361, rue J.F. Breton - B.P. 5095 - 34196 MONTPELLIER Cedex 5
GHOSTE - Gestion Hydraulique, Optimisation et Supervision des Transferts d'Eau


  • Data Assimilation
  • Sensitivity Analysis
  • Uncertainty Quantification
  • Hydraulic/Hydrology Modeling
  • Geopgysical Systems



H. Oubanas is a research scientist in data assimilation, sensitivity analysis and optimization problems in geophysical systems. Her educational and professional background combines expertise in inverse problem theory applied to nonlinear meteorological systems, open channel hydraulics and hydrology. She is involved in several international collaborations with multiple visiting periods (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, The Ohio State University, The University of Massachusetts, etc.). Currently, her main activity focuses on the assimilation of multi-satellite data to estimate river discharge and topography at the global scale using variational approach. Hind is member of the SWOT Science Team of the Surface Water and ocean Topography (SWOT) mission, the first satellite dedicated to hydraulics/hydrology and mesoscale oceanography, to be launched late 2022. She is the PI of the SWOT discharge project at INRAE G-EAU and she is participating to several fieldworks for the SWOT Calibration/Validation, mainly in India, French Guyana and USA.



Educational :

  • 2014-2017 : PhD in Sciences of the Universe, Space, and the Environment, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France. Subject: “Variational assimilation of satellite data into a full Saint-Venant based hydraulic model in the context of ungauged basins”. Ph.D funded by Irstea & CLS.
  • 2013-2014 : Master degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences, ENSEEIHT, Institut National Polytechnique, Toulouse, France.
  • 2012-2014 : Engineering degree in Meteorology: Statistics and Applied Mathematics, Ecole Nationale de la Météorologie, Toulouse, France. ENM-EHTP partnership programme.
  • 2010-2014 : Engineering degree in Meteorology, Ecole Hassania des Travaux Publics, Casablanca, Morocco.


Professional :

  • 2017-Present : Research Scientist, INRAE, Montpellier, France.
  • 2016 : Visiting Scholar, The Ohio State University – Collaboration with Michael Durand, Columbus, Ohio, USA.
  • 2016 : Visiting Scholar, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA.
  • 2014 : Master Project, The comparison of the 4D-Var and the ensemble methods in evaluating the spatial and temporal structures of the covariance matrix, Centre ESCER-UQAM, Montreal, Canada. Advisor: Pierre Gauthier.
  • 2014 : Master Internship, Particle filtering with imperfect model for geophysical systems, CNRM-Météo France, Toulouse, France. Project advisor : Christophe Baehr.
  • 2013 : Engineering Internship, Numerical study of downscaling between a nonhydrostatic model and subgrid particle system for turbulence., CNRM-Météo France, Toulouse, France. Project advisor : Christophe Baehr.



  • PHD Students:

Samy Chelil, INRAE Antony : “Variational Data Assimilation to improve subsurface drainage model parameters”.

  • Visiting PHD Students :

Giada Molari, University of Bologna: “Estimating River Discharge Using Data Assimilation and SRTM-based Bathymetry”.



  • 2020-2023 Oubanas, H. (PI), Malaterre, P.O., Gejadze, I. : SWOT TOSCA-ROSES. Estimation of River Discharges from SWOT Observations using Data Assimilation and Hydraulic Models. Funder : Centre National des Etudes Spatiales (CNES). Funding for 2020 : 82 K€.
  • 2018-2020 Oubanas, H. and Gleason, G. J. (PIs) : “Make our planet great again”: US-French collaboration to improve river discharge estimation accuracy, robustness, and efficiency. Funder: French Embassy of the United States and Thomas Jefferson Fund. Total funding: 20 K$.
  • 2016-2019 Malaterre, P.O. (PI), Oubanas, H., Gejadze, I. : SWOT TOSCA. Apport de la mission SWOT dans l’estimation des débits des fleuves. Funder : CNES. Fundings : 18 K€ (2016), 35 K€ (2017), 51 K€ (2018), 77 K€ (2019).
  • 2016 Oubanas, H. : Aides à la mobilité internationale pour les doctorants (International mobility grant for PhD students), Funder : Doctoral School SDU2E (Sciences of the Universe, Space and Environment).
  • 2016 Oubans, H. : ATUPS Grant. Funder : University Paul Sabatier. Three months award funds to PhD student for mobility to an international research center/university.



Journal Papers

On a global search procedure to solve inverse problems on hydraulic systems, Gejadze, I., Oubanas, H., Malaterre, P. O., 2021 (In submission).

Variational data assimilation (4DVAR) to improve subsurface drainage modeling, Chelil, S., Oubanas, H. Gejadze, I., Tournebize, J., Henine, H., Malaterre, P. O., Journal of Hydrology, 2021 (In review WRR).

Exploring the factors controlling the performance of the Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission discharge algorithms, Frasson, R. P., M., Durand, M. T., Larnier, K., Gleason, C., Andreadis, K., M., Hagemann, M., Dudley, R., Bjeklie, D., Oubanas, H., Garambois, P. A., Malaterre, P. O., Lin, P., Pavelsky, T. M., Monnier, J., Water Resources Research, 2021 (Final review).

Discharge estimation in ungauged basins through variational data assimilation: The potential of the SWOT mission, H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre, M. Durand, R.Wei, R.P.M Frasson, A. Domeneghetti, Water Resource Research, 2018. DOI: 10.1002/2017WR021735

River discharge estimation from synthetic SWOT-type observations using variational data assimilation and the full Saint-Venant hydraulic model, H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre, F. Mercier, Journal of Hydrology, 2018. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2018.02.004

On the model error treatment in variational data assimilation using the generalized observation covariance operator, I. Gejadze, H. Oubanas, V. Shutyaev, Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, 2017. DOI: 10.1002/qj.3102


International Conferences

H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre, A. Domeneghetti, M. J. Tourian, M. Durand (2019) River Discharge Estimation in Ungauged Basins Using Multi-Missions Variational Data Assimilation, The American Geophysical Union. San Francisco, USA.

H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre (2019) Assimilation of satellite altimetry and SWOT observations in hydraulic context. South America Water from Space II. Manaus, Brazil.

H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre, M. Durand, A. Domeneghetti, M. J. Tourian (2018) River discharge estimation in ungauged basins using multi-missions variational data assimilation, AGU. Washington, USA.

H. Oubanas, F. Billaud, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre (2018) Variational data assimilation for river discharge estimation: Application to the SWOT DAWG benchmark, The 13th International Conference on Hydroinformatics. Palermo, Italy.

H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, P-O. Malaterre, M. Durand, R.Wei, R.P.M Frasson, A. Domeneghetti (2017) Discharge estimation in ungauged basins through variational data assimilation: The potential of the SWOT mission,. AGU. San Francisco, California, USA.

H. Oubanas, I. Gejadze, V. Shutyaev (2016) On the model error treatment in variational data assimilation using the ’nuisance parameters’ approach, The 5th International Symposium on Data Assimilation. Reading, UK.


Invited Seminars

  • River Discharge Estimation using Multi-Sources Variational Data Assimilation, Institute of Geodesy, University of Stuttgart, 2020.
  • River discharge estimation from multi-sensors observations using data assimilation, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, 2019.
  • River discharge estimation from satellite data in ungauged basins using variational data assimilation, University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2018.
  • River discharge estimation under uncertainty from in-situ and remote sensing data using variational data assimilation and a full Saint-Venant hydraulic model, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center – Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA, 2016
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