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Evolution of river-routing schemes in macro-scale models and their potential for watershed management

Shaad, Kashif
Hydrological sciences journal 2018 v.63 no.7 pp. 1062-1077
hydrologic models, oceans, rivers, runoff, watershed management, watersheds
Macro-scale river-routing schemes first emerged to channel runoff generated as a by-product from land surface models to oceans. In the past decade, as discharge of major rivers was identified as a suitable parameter to test the performance of the macro-scale land surface models, river-routing received significant attention, with development of multiple schemes. As resolution improves, the possibility of river-routing schemes connecting the global models with watershed issues has emerged as an option. Yet, even as results from these schemes become easily available, a comprehensive overview of their scope and limitation when considering regional or watershed-centric applications is lacking. To address this gap, 18 published river-routing schemes are compared by examining their structure, rationale and limitations. Due to the diverse nature of scheme implementations, a direct comparison of performance is not yet possible. However, features and studies geared towards watershed-scale applications are highlighted. Issues of global to local integration are discussed.