Climate Data

UNH/GRDC: Estimated River Runoff

Combines observed river discharge information with a climate-driven Water Balance Model in order to develop composite runoff fields that are consistent with observed discharges. This combination preserves the accuracy of discharge measurements as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of simulated runoff, providing a 'best estimate' of terrestrial runoff over large domains.

Key Strengths:

  • Statistical 'best estimate' of terrestrial runoff over large domain

Key Limitations:

  • Model-based estimate (but constrained by observed river discharge)
temporal metadataID:





Spatial Resolution


Ocean or Land

Land Only

Missing Data Flag

missing data present

Vertical Levels

Earth system components and main variables

Data Access: Please Cite data sources, following the data providers' instructions.

Key Figures

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Mean Annual Runoff - South America. (source:

Cite this page

National Center for Atmospheric Research Staff (Eds). Last modified 20 Dec 2013. "The Climate Data Guide: UNH/GRDC: Estimated River Runoff." Retrieved from

Acknowledgement of any material taken from this page is appreciated. On behalf of experts who have contributed data, advice, and/or figures, please cite their work as well.