Streamflow simulation for continental-scale river basins

Bart Nijssen, Dennis P. Lettenmaier, Xu Liang, Suzanne W. Wetzel, Eric F. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

378 Scopus citations


A grid network version of the two-layer variable infiltration capacity (VIC-2L) macroscale hydrologic model is described. VIC-2L is a hydrologically based soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer scheme designed to represent the land surface in numerical weather prediction and climate models. The grid network scheme allows streamflow to be predicted for large continental rivers. Off-line (observed and estimated surface meteorological and radiative forcings) applications of the model to the Columbia River (1°latitude-longitude spatial resolution) and Delaware River (0.5°resolution) are described. The model performed quite well in both applications, reproducing the seasonal hydrograph and annual flow volumes to within a few percent. Difficulties in reproducing observed streamflow in the arid portion of the Snake River basin are attributed to groundwater-surface water interactions, which are not modeled by VIC-2L.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)711-724
Number of pages14
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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