J. E. (Eamonn) Nash (19272000)

JENash“James Eamonn Nash graduated as a civil engineer from Galway University in 1949 and started work with the Irish Electricity Supply Board for dam engineering. Right from the beginning, Nash collaborated with the hydrologist J.C.I. Dooge and remained his friend during his lifetime. In 1955, Nash obtained the Master degree of Engineering from Galway University for a work relating to flood propagation in rivers. One year later, Nash moved to HR Wallingford and developed the Instant Unit Hydrograph IUH Method, for which his name became famous. The IUH was represented by the gamma function and linearly relates flows in basic catchments. The paper was awarded the Telford premium by the Institution of Civil Engineers, London, in 1958. The IUH was applied with success to British catchment areas in the early 1960s.

After a two-years stay in Nigeria, Nash returned to Wallingford but soon after took the position of senior lecturer at Galway University. He was one of the founders of the Journal of Hydrology in 1963. In 1970 he submitted a PhD thesis and was appointed professor of engineering hydrology. From 1979 Nash organized the International postgraduate hydrology courses, with a large number of students from all continents until 2000. Nash was awarded the honorary doctorate from the University of Nanching, the International Premium of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences IAHS in 1989, and the 1999 Ven Te Chow award from ASCE for his groundbreaking investigations in hydrologic engineering and innovative solutions of hydraulic problems.”


Water Engineering and Management through Time: Learning from History edited by Enrique Cabrera and Francisco Arregui (2010), Taylor and Francis Group, London, UK, p. 149.

O’Connor, K. M. (2000), Obituary: J.E. (Eamonn) Nash (1927-2000), J. Hydrol., 234(3), 113-115. [PDF]

O’Connor, K. M., C. Cunnane and P. E. O’Connell (2000), Obituary and Tribute: J.E. (Eamonn) Nash (1927-2000), Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sc., 4(2), 342–344. [PDF]

Sutcliffe, J. (2000), Obituary, IAHS Newsletter, 69, p. 18. [PDF]

 ***Please send your suggestions, additions, and corrections to Efi Foufoula-Georgiou.*** 

List of Publications:

1. Nash, J. E., and J. P. Farrell (1955), A graphical solution of the flood routing equation for linear storage-discharge relation, Eos Trans. AGU, 36(2), 319–320. [PDF]

2.  Nash, J. E. (1955), The relation of stream flow to rainfall, ME Degree Thesis, National University of Ireland, University College, Galway, Ireland.

3.  Nash, J. E. (1956), Frequency of discharges from ungaged catchments, Eos Trans. AGU, 37(6), 719–725. [PDF]

4.  Nash, J. E. (1957), Discussion of “Frequency of discharges from ungaged catchments”, Eos Trans. AGU38(6), 963–969. [PDF]

5.  Nash, J. E. (1957), The form of the instantaneous unit hydrograph, Internat. Assoc. Scient. Hydrology, Publ. 45 (Toronto). [LINK]

6.  Nash, J. E. (1958), Determining run-off from rainfall, P. I. Civil Eng., 10, 163–184; 11, 510–521. [LINK]

7.  Nash, J. E. (1959), The effect of flood-elimination works on the flood frequency of the river Wandle, P. I. Civil Eng., 13, 317–338. [LINK]

8.  Nash, J. E. (1959), Systematic Determination of Unit Hydrograph Parameters, J. Geophys. Res., 64(1), 111 – 115. [PDF]

9.  Nash, J. E. (1959), A note on the Muskingum Flood Routing Method, J. Geophys. Res., 64(8), 1053-1056. [PDF]

10.  Nash, J. E. (1960), A unit hydrograph study, with particular reference to British catchments, P. I. Civil Eng., 17, 249–282; 20, 464. [LINK]

11. Nash, J. E. (1960), A note on an Investigation into Two Aspects of the Relation between Rainfall and Storm Runoff, International Union of Geology and Geophysics, General Assembly of Helsinki, Commission Surface Water, Publication No. 51, 567-578. [PDF]

12.  Nash, J. E. (1961), A Linear Transformation of a Discharge Record, International Association of Hydraulics Research, Ninth Convention, Belgrade 1961.

13. Nash, J. E. (1965), Applied Flood Hydrology, Chapter 6 of River Engineering Hydraulics, edited by R. B. Thomas, Butterworths.

14.  Nash, J. E., and B. L. Shaw (1966), Flood Frequency as a function of Catchment Characteristics, Institute of Civil Engineers, Symposium on River Flood Hydrology, p. 115, London.

15. Nash, J. E., and J. Amorocho (1966), The Accuracy of the Prediction of Floods of High Return Period, Water Resour. Res., 2(2), 191-198. [PDF]

16.  Nash, J. E. (1967), The role of parametric hydrology, Journal of the Institution of Water Engineers, 21(5), 435–474.

17.  Nash, J. E., and J. V. Sutcliffe (1967), The Formation of the Flood Wave, WMO-UNESCO Symposium on Hydrological Forecasting, Surfers Paradise, Australia. 

18.  Nash, J. E., and K. M. O’Connor (1968), Comment on “Computation of Optimum Realizable Unit Hydrographs” by Peter S. Eagleson et al., Water Resour. Res., 4(1), 212-214. [PDF]

19.  O’Connor, K. M., and J. E. Nash (1968), Comment on “A Laplace Transform Proof of the Theorem of Moments” by M. H. Diskin, Water Resour. Res., 4(3), 675-677. [PDF]

20.  Takhar, H. S. (1970), A short note on Nash’s unit-hydrograph study, J. Hydrol., 10(3), 299–300. [LINK]

21.  Nash, J. E. (1970), Comment on “A short note on Nash’s unit-hydrograph study” by H. S. Takhar, J. Hydrol., 10(3), 301–302. [LINK]

22.  Nash, J. E., and J. V. Sutcliffe (1970), River flow forecasting through conceptual models part I – A discussion of principles, J. Hydrol., 10(3), 282–290. [LINK]

23.  O’Connell, P. E., J. E. Nash, and J. P. Farrell (1970), River flow forecasting through conceptual models part II – The Brosna catchment at Ferbane, J. Hydrol., 10(4), 317–329. [LINK]

24.  Mandeville, A. N., P. E. O’Connell, J. V. Sutcliffe, and J. E. Nash (1970), River flow forecasting through conceptual models part III – The Ray catchment at Grendon Underwood, J. Hydrol., 11(2), 109–128. [LINK]

25.  Lowery, M. D., and J. E. Nash (1970), A comparison of methods of fitting the double exponential distribution, J. Hydrol., 10(3), 259–275. [LINK]

26.  Nash, J. E., and J. V. Sutcliffe (1971), Reply, J. Hydrol., 13(4), 357–359. [LINK]

27.  Nash, J. E. (1972), Conceptual Models of the Runoff Process, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome.

28.  Nash, J. E. (1973), Real Hydrology, Rep. No. 20, Institute of Hydrology, Wallingford, Oxon, pp. 17–25.

29.  Cunnane, C., and J. E. Nash (1974), Bayesian Estimation of Frequency of Hydrological Events, Proceedings of the International Symposium at Warsaw, July 1971, IAHS-AISH Publication No. 100.

30.  Nash, J. E. (1976), Workshop A: On deterministic models, Hydrol. Sci. Bull., 21(1), 215–218. [LINK]

31.  Nash, J. E. (1978), Extended workshop on real-time hydrological forecasting and control, July 1977, J. Hydrol., 36, 197–198. [LINK]

32.  Garrick, M., C. Cunnane, and J. E. Nash (1978), A criterion of efficiency for rainfall-runoff models, J. Hydrol., 36, 375–381. [LINK]

33.  Nash, J. E., and J. J. Foley (1981), Linear Models of Rainfall Runoff Systems, Proceedings of the International Symposium on Rainfall Runoff Modelling, Mississippi State University.

34.  Nash, J. E., and J. J. Foley (1982), Linear Models of Rainfall-Runoff Systems, In: Singh, V.P., Ed., Rainfall-Runoff Relationship: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Rainfall-Runoff Modelling, Water Resources Publications, Littleton, 51–66.

35.  Nash, J. E., and B. I. Barsi (1983), A hybrid model for flow forecasting on large catchments, J. Hydrol., 65, 125–137. [LINK]

36.  Liang, G. C., and J. E. Nash (1988), Linear models for river flow routing on large catchments, J. Hydrol.103, 157–188. [LINK]

37.  Nash, J. E. (1988), Foreword, J. Hydrol., 100, v–viii. [LINK]

38.  Nash, J. E. (1989), Editorial, J. Hydrol., 107. [LINK]

39.  Nash, J. E. (1989), Potential evaporation and “The complementary relationship”, J. Hydrol., 111, 1–7. [LINK]

40.  Nash, J. E., P. S. Eagleson, J. R. Philip, and W. H. Van Der Molen (1990), The education of hydrologists (report of an IAHS/UNESCO panel on hydrological education), Hydrolog. Sci. J., 35(6), 597–607. [LINK]

41.  Nash, J. E. (1992), Chapter 12: Hydrology and hydrologists – reflections, Advances in theoretical hydrology, 191–199. [LINK]

42.  Shamseldin, A. Y., and J. E. Nash (1998), The geomorphological unit hydrograph – a critical review, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sc., 2(1), 1–8. [LINK]

43.  Penman, H. L., J. E. Nash, H. C. Pereira, and M. Nixon (2007),  A view from the watershed, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sc., 11(1), 12–25. [LINK]



1.  Nash, J. E. (1969), A course of lectures on parametric or analytical hydrology, Great Lakes Institute, University of Toronto, 200 pages.