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Watershed Boundaries of GRDC Stations (GRDC, 2011)

Recommended citation: Global Runoff Data Centre (2011): Watershed Boundaries of GRDC Stations / Global Runoff Data Centre. Koblenz, Germany: Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG).

Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6242500 Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6242500Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6242500

Hydrologic processes and the resulting phenomena are studied and reported in logic „water“ units at local, regional, national or international levels. A catchment is commonly recognised as the abstract unit of study and reporting in hydrology, the basin as the physiographic unit where hydrologic processes take place. Determined by the topographical and geological conditions, a basin is bounded by a watershed (line). Within the basin, all waters flow to a common outlet, which is determined by the lowest point on the bounding watershed. Geometrically, a basin may be described by its bounding watershed and a planar basin area.

Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6442500 Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6442500Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6442500

The widespread use of GIS in hydrology and environmental sciences, led to an increasing demand for basin polygons. Modern GIS technology allows for the delineation of basins for almost every point on the Earth’s surface. Using the HydroTools of ArcGIS, GRDC generated the “Major River Basins of the World”, a set of shape files created 2009 for the generation of GRDC map products. Against this background, GRDC is repeatedly asked for the provision of watershed boundaries for the gauging stations represented in the Global Runoff DataBase.

Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6742201 Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6742201Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6742201

The HydroSHEDS drainage network (Lehner et al., 2008) offers the unique opportunity to generate watershed boundaries for GRDC gauging stations using a proofed dataset and applying a consistent methodology. HydroSHEDS has been developed by the Conservation Science Program of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Center for Environmental Systems Research (CESR) of the University of Kassel, Germany. For further information please visit the relevant websites of the WWF and the USGS (see right margin). GRDC is happy to have engaged Bernhard Lehner from McGill University Montreal, Canada, who is one of the developers of HydroSHEDS, for the creation of the watershed boundaries for more than 7000 GRDC stations.

Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6842900 Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6842900Drainage basin polygon of GRDC station 6842900

The Watershed Boundaries of GRDC Stations are provided as ESRI Shapefiles under the conditions of the GRDC Data Policy, which states the non-commercial use of the data and the overall citation of GRDC as the source. The GRDC would like to thank Bernhard Lehner for his work and for the permission to make available the generated watershed polygons to the users of the GRDC data set. The methodology used is published as Report 41 in the GRDC Report Series.

References:
Lehner, B., Verdin, K., Jarvis, A. (2008): Hydrological data and maps based on Shuttle elevation derivatives. U.S. Geological Survey. - online resource: http://hydrosheds.cr.usgs.gov/

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