Articles | Volume 3, issue 1
Special issue:
31 Mar 1999
31 Mar 1999

River routing at the continental scale: use of globally-available data and an a priori method of parameter estimation

P. Naden, P. Broadhurst, N. Tauveron, and A. Walker

Abstract. Two applications of a river routing model based on the observed river network and a linearised solution to the convective-diffusion equation are presented. One is an off-line application to part of the Amazon basin (catchment area 2.15 M km2) using river network data from the Digital Chart of the World and GCM-generated runoff at a grid resolution of 2.5 degrees latitude and 3.75 degrees longitude. The other application is to the Arkansas (409,000 km2) and Red River (125,500 km2) basins as an integrated component of a macro-scale hydrological model, driven by observed meteorology and operating on a 17 km grid. This second application makes use of the US EPA reach data to construct the river network. In both cases, a method of computing parameter values a priori has been applied and shows some success, although some interpretation is required to derive `correct' parameter values and further work is needed to develop guidelines for use of the method. The applications, however, do demonstrate the possibilities for applying the routing model at the continental scale, with globally-available data and a priori parameter estimation, and its value for validating GCM output against observed flows.

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