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date of issue September 10, 2014

Global Freshwater Fluxes into the World Oceans (GRDC, 2014)

Recommended citation: Wilkinson, K., Zabern, M. von and J. Scherzer: Global Freshwater Fluxes into the World Oceans : Technical Report prepared for the GRDC. - Koblenz, Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), 2014. - (GRDC Report; 44) . – DOI: 10.5675/GRDC_Report_44

Accurate information of surface freshwater fluxes into the World’s seas and oceans is of importance to science. Determining freshwater fluxes was originally aimed at closing knowledge gaps in the hydrological cycle and to arrive at an improved world water balance. Furthermore, global monitoring of freshwater resources and the flux of matter into coastal areas and the oceans are of specific interest to research. Especially the influence of freshwater fluxes on oceanic circulation patterns and its impact on climate systems has resulted in numerous studies and requests for improved and timely determination of freshwater fluxes.

In the past the GRDC has calculated and published freshwater fluxes in the years 1996 (GRDC Report 10 (March 1996): Freshwater Fluxes from Continents into the World Oceans based on Data of the Global Runoff Data Base / W. Grabs, Th. de Couet, J. Pauler), 2004 and 2009. Results of the last two versions are available online at the GRDC website. For previous studies  different methodologies were used. Selected outputs of the global hydrological model WaterGAP (Döll et al., 2003) were used to estimate freshwater fluxes on a global scale in 2004 and 2009.

Within the framework of the European Commission funded FP7 project GEOWOW the GRDC had the opportunity to develop an automated and standardised procedure for the calculation of freshwater fluxes. The necessary geo-processing workflow was compiled for the GRDC into a specially designed ArcGIS toolbox by UDATA - Umweltschutz und Datenanalyse Neustadt / Weinstraße, Germany (Wilkinson et al., 2014). This workflow will be used to regularly re-calculate freshwater fluxes, at least when WaterGAP inputs are updated by the team at Frankfurt University, Germany.

The Global Freshwater Fluxes into the World Oceans are provided as a stand-alone Web Service. This service is available at the GRDC website, but has also been registered with the GEOSS Portal in support of GEO (Group on Earth Observations).

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