5 rue Descartes
67084 Strasbourg Cedex

+33 3 68 85 03 86



Research activites


My research work focuses on the modelling of mass transfers in heterogeneous and variably saturated porous media.
Different complementary axes are investigated:

  • the development and optimization of numerical methods. problems of equivalent parameters, time step management,...
  • the development of laboratory or field experiments (in the context of OHGE, for example).
  • the validation of calculation codes, direct and inverse estimation, on real and synthetic test cases.

Ongoing experimental research

  • experimental part

Instrumentation and monitoring of anold spruce plot in the Strengbach catchment (OHGE): a plot was equipped with TDR probes (Campbell CS616), pressure sensors (Campbell 257) and temperature probes (Campbell 107) at 5 different depths on a vertical profile. In parrallel, laboratory work for probe calibration and soil characterization was done as well as parameter estimation by inverse approaches.
A new experimental plot has been selected and many sensors and equipments will be installed in 2021. I am involved in a project to install an Eddy-Covariance flux tower (financial support of OZCAR). As future developments are related to ecophysiology and characterization of plant transpiration, we also plan sap-flow measurements campaigns in collaboration with INRAE.

CAPROZOVA project (ITES internal call for projects): characterization of vadose zone processes in different types of soils. The purpose is to improve our estimation - characterization of soil humidity. To this way, we combine different techniques for measuring water content in the subsurface, including the TDR-type "intrusive" sensor approach and a geophysical approach. Artificial experiments have been carried out in a controlled environment (SCERES experimental site) and also an infiltrometry experiment in the Strengbach catchment.

  • Laboratory experiments:

Work on the DCM and micropolluants degradation: instrumentation and monitoring of 2 laboratory aquifers in variably saturated conditions with water table fluctuations (H:80cm x L:160cm x e:8cm). These studies are part of the thesis of Maria Prieto (supervised by G. Imfeld and S. Weill). (fundings: Région Grand-Est, CNRS - INSU,...) 

Work on a laboratory tank (H:120cm x L:180cm x e:4cm): imbibition drainage experiments, artificial rainfall simulations. Development of a photographic measurement technique. (ENGEES funding)

Ongoing research on numerical modelling

  • distributed hydrological model:

The objective is to develop model that take into account different processes and interaction between soil - vegatation - atmosphere.  Mainly evapotranspiration, infiltration, interception, root uptakes, runoff, ...

  • variably saturated flow and transport in fractured aquifers

We want to continue the work achieved by Behshad KOOHBOR during his PhD (directed by Marwan FAHS and of which I am co-supervisor).

Photographies et illustrations


Strohmenger L., Ackerer P., Belfort B., & Pierret M. C. 2022. Local and seasonal climate change and its influence on the hydrological cycle in a mountainous forested catchment. Journal of Hydrology, 610, 127914.

Younes A., Koohbor B., Belfort B., Ackerer P., Doummar J., Fahs M. 2022. Modeling variable-density flow in saturated-unsaturated porous media: An advanced numerical model. Advances in Water Resources, 104077.

Prieto-Espinoza M., Weill S., Belfort B., Muller E. E., Masbou J., Lehmann F., ... & Imfeld G. 2021. Water table fluctuations affect dichloromethane biodegradation in lab-scale aquifers contaminated with organohalides. Water Research, 203, 117530.

Koohbor B., Fahs M., Hoteit H., Doummar J., Younes A., Belfort B. 2020. An advanced discrete fracture model for variably saturated flow in fractured porous media. Advances in Water Resources. 140. 103602.

Rajabi M. M., Fahs M., Panjehfouladgaran A., Ataie-Ashtiani B., Simmons C. T., & Belfort B. 2020. Uncertainty quantification and global sensitivity analysis of double-diffusive natural convection in a porous enclosure. International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, 162, 120291.

Rajabi M. M., Belfort B., Lehmann F., Weill S., Ataie-Ashtiani B., & Fahs M. 2020. An improved Kalman filtering approach for the estimation of unsaturated flow parameters by assimilating photographic imaging data. Journal of Hydrology, 590, 125373.

Belfort B., Weill S., Fahs M., Lehmann F. 2019. Laboratory Experiments of Drainage, Imbibition and Infiltration under Artificial Rainfall Characterized by Image Analysis Method and Numerical Simulations. Water, 11(11) : 2232 ;

Koohbor B., Fahs M., Ataie-Ashtiani B., Belfort B., Simmons C.T., Younes A.  2019. Uncertainty analysis for seawater intrusion in fractured coastal aquifers : Effects of fracture location, aperture, density and hydrodynamic parameters. Journal of Hydrology, 571:159-177.

Fahs M., Koohbor B., Belfort B., Ataie-Ashtiani B., Simmons C. T., Younes Anis, Ackerer P.  2018. A generalized semi-analytical solution for the dispersive henry problem : effect of stratification and anisotropy on seawater intrusion. Water, 10 (2) : 230.

Belfort B., Toloni I., Ackerer P., Cotel S., Viville D., Lehmann F. 2018. Vadose Zone Modeling in a Small Forested Catchment : Impact of Water Pressure Head Sampling Frequency on 1D-Model Calibration. Geosciences, 8(2):72.

Belfort B., Weill S., Lehmann F. 2017. Image analysis method for the measurement of water saturation in a two-dimensional experimental flow tank. Journal of Hydrology, 550, 343-354.

Mara T.A., Belfort B., Fontaine V., Younes A. 2017. Addressing factors fixing setting from given data : A comparison of different methods. Environmental Modelling & Software, 87, 29-38.

Belfort B., Younes A., Fahs M., Lehmann F. 2013. On equivalent hydraulic conductivity for oscillation–free solutions of Richard’s equation. Journal of Hydrology, 505, 202–217.

Younes A., Fahs M., Belfort B. 2013. Monotonicity of the cell-centred triangular MPFA method for saturated and unsaturated flow in heterogeneous porous media. Journal of Hydrology, 504, 132-141.

Younes A., Mara T.A., Fajraoui N., Lehmann F., Belfort B., Beydoun H. 2013. Use of Global Sensitivity Analysis to Help Assess Unsaturated Soil Hydraulic Parameters. Vadose Zone Journal, 12, vzj2011.0150.

Delay F., Ackerer P., Belfort B., Guadagnini A. 2012. On the emergence of reciprocity gaps during interference pumping tests in unconfined aquifers. Advances in Water Resources, 46, 11-19.

Belfort B., Ramasomanana F., Younes A., Lehmann F. 2009. An efficient Lumped Mixed Hybrid Finite Element formulation for variably saturated groundwater flow. Vadose Zone Journal, 8, 352-362.

Belfort B, Carrayrou J, Lehmann F. 2007. Implementation of Richardson extrapolation in an efficient adaptive time stepping method : applications to reactive transport and unsaturated flow in porous media. Transport in Porous Media, 69(1)123-138.

Belfort B. & F. Lehmann. 2005. Comparison of Equivalent Conductivities for Numerical Simulation of One-Dimensional Unsaturated Flow. Vadose Zone Journal, 4(4)1191–1200.

Teatching activities

Since September 1, 2022, I am assigned to ENGEES (Ecole Nationale du Génie de l'Eau et de l'Environnement de Strasbourg) as an assistant professor.

My courses are mainly focused on surface hydrology, hydrogeology, modeling in these two fields and hydraulics.

Between 2007 and 2022, I was assistant professor at the University of Strasbourg. I was assigned to the IUT Louis Pasteur of Schiltigheim, to the Industrial Engineering and Maintenance Department (DUT GIM). I was in charge of teaching modules of maintenance, at the theoretical and practical level, for students and alternating students of level BAC+2 and BAC+3.

Collective responsibilities

  • Since october 2020, I co-manage with Marwan Fahs the TrHyCo research team
  • From January 2017 to december 2020, I was representing researchers/teachers on the LHyGeS Laboratory Council.
  • From October 2012 to february 2021, I am a representative of the teaching and research staff of IUT Louis Pasteur.
  • From September 2009 to september 2020, I was the head of the TAM professional degree at the IUT Schiltigheim (supervision of the training of 24 apprentices per year - 500 hours).
  • Internship supervisor of 7-9 appentices per year.