Conceptual catchment scale rainfall-runoff models and AGCM land-surface parameterisation schemes

F. H S Chiew*, A. J. Pitman, T. A. McMahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The similarities and differences between conceptual rainfall-runoff models developed by hydrologists and land-surface parameterisation schemes developed for incorporation into atmospheric general circulation models (AGCMs) are explored. The simulations indicate that the key surface water and energy quantities estimated by a typical rainfall-runoff model (MODHYDROLOG) and a typical land-surface scheme (BEST) for a wet tropical catchment and a temperate ephemeral catchment are reasonably similar. The results suggest that the parameterisations used in land-surface schemes can simulate runoff satisfactorily for wet areas but are too simplified to model runoff adequately in ephemeral catchments. The simulations also suggest that the simple algorithms used in rainfall-runoff models can be adopted for climate change impact studies and for use with AGCMs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-157
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1996


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