Articles | Volume 26, issue 5
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 1507–1525, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-1507-2022
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 26, 1507–1525, 2022
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-26-1507-2022

Research article 18 Mar 2022

Research article | 18 Mar 2022

Theoretical and empirical evidence against the Budyko catchment trajectory conjecture

Nathan G. F. Reaver et al.

Data sets

Catchment attributes and hydro-meteorological timeseries for 671 catchments across Great Britain (CAMELS-GB) G. Coxon, N. Addor, J. P. Bloomfield, J. Freer, M. Fry, J. Hannaford, N. J. K. Howden, R. Lane, M. Lewis, E. L. Robinson, T. Wagener, and R. Woods https://doi.org/10.5285/8344e4f3-d2ea-44f5-8afa-86d2987543a9

Designation and trend analysis of the updated UK Benchmark Network of river flow stations: the UKBN2 dataset (https://nrfa.ceh.ac.uk/benchmark-network, http://nrfa.ceh.ac.uk/sites/default/files/UKBN_Station_List_vUKBN2.0_1.xlsx) S. Harrigan, J. Hannaford, K. Muchan, and T. J. Marsh https://doi.org/10.2166/nh.2017.058

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Short summary
The Budyko curve emerges globally from the behavior of multiple catchments. Single-parameter Budyko equations extrapolate the curve concept to individual catchments, interpreting curves and parameters as representing climatic and biophysical impacts on water availability, respectively. We tested these two key components theoretically and empirically, finding that catchments are not required to follow Budyko curves and usually do not, implying the parametric framework lacks predictive ability.