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Global Composite Runoff Fields (CSRC-UNH and GRDC, 2002)

The Global Composite Runoff Fields is a joint product developed by the Water Systems Analysis Group (WSAG) at CSRC at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the GRDC. It demonstrates the potential of combining observed river discharge information with a climate-driven water balance model in order to develop composite runoff fields which are consistent with observed discharges. Such combined runoff fields preserve the accuracy of discharge measurements as well as of the spatial and temporal distribution of simulated runoff, thereby providing the "best estimate" of terrestrial runoff over large domains.

Map: Mean Annual Runoff Mean Annual Runoff - Asia, Source: Annual Runoff - Asia, Source: (click to enlarge)

The method applied in the preparation of the dataset utilizes 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. Selected gauging stations from the GRDC data archive were co-registered to a simulated topological network (STN-30p) developed at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). Regions between gauging stations (inter-station regions) along the STN-30p network were identified. Inter-station discharge and runoff were calculated to compare observed runoff with outputs from the water balance model (WBM) simulation. Correction coefficients based on the ratio of observed and simulated runoff at inter-station areas were calculated and applied against simulated runoff to create composite runoff fields.

An HTML based data explorer is maintained by WSAG to help users view the data. With a standard web browser it is possible to navigate from a global view of the data, down to a subbasin or station level.

Moreover, the results of the project are stored on a CD which contains besides the HTML interface to the Composite Runoff Fields V1.0 also intermediate data sets, such as station attributes and long-term monthly regimes of the selected gauging stations. Also included are the simulated topological network (STN-30p), STN-30p derived attributes for the selected stations and gridded fields of the inter-station regions along STN-30p. The CD can be provided by GRDC on request. A printed version (GRDC Report No. 22) can be ordered free of charge from GRDC or downloaded from the GRDC Report Series page. A description has been published: Fekete, B. M., Vörösmarty, C. J. & Grabs, W. (2002) High-resolution fields of global runoff combining observed river discharge and simulated water balances. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 16 (3), 2002, 10 pp.

Please cite in your publication the GRDC as the source of the data: Fekete, B., Vörösmarty, C., and W. Grabs (2002): Global composite runoff fields on observed river discharge and simulated water balances / Water System Analysis Group,University of New Hampshire, and Global Runoff Data Centre. Koblenz, Germany: Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), 2002.

HTML based data explorer maintained by UNH WSAG

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