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Global Runoff Data Center: Composite Runoff Fields V 1.0 DLESE Reviewed Collection
This database and accompanying report demonstrate the potential of combining observed river discharge information with a climate-driven Water Balance Model in order to develop composite runoff fields that are consistent with observed discharges. This combination preserves the accuracy of discharge measurements as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of simulated runoff, providing a 'best estimate' of terrestrial runoff over large domains. Spatially-distributed runoff estimates are normally based on water balances that use climate data such as precipitation, air temperature, vapor pressure, wind speed, and others. However, the accuracy of river discharge measurements is much higher than measurements of these other parameters (precipitation, etc.). Spatial distribution of the runoff within a watershed was achieved by the use of a gridded river network at 30-minute spatial resolution to represent the riverine flow pathways and to link the continental land mass to oceans through river channels. The discharge data used in this study is available as a set of interactive maps arranged by gaging station, drainage basin, or as a thematic map of mean annual runoff. It can also be downloaded as a set of zipped files.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
  • Graduate / Professional
  • General public
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Map
  • Text:
    • Report
  • Dataset:
    • In-situ
    • Modeled
  • Climatology
  • Environmental science
  • Hydrology
  • Policy issues
Technical requirements:
Datasets require ARC/INFO
Reports require Adobe Acrobat reader.
Datasets require Winzip or other file decompression software
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright and other restrictions information are unknown.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-008-963
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Water Systems Analysis Group
The University of New Hampshire
Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space

Author: Charles J. Vorosmarty
Complex Systems Research Center
The University of New Hampshire

Author: Balazs M. Fekete
Water Systems Analysis Group
The University of New Hampshire