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10 Concepts of Hydrologic Modeling

Part 1. Theory, Organization and Scale

  1. Dan Rosbjerg1,
  2. Henrik Madsen2

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa009

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Rosbjerg, D. and Madsen, H. 2006. Concepts of Hydrologic Modeling. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 1:10.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Technical University Denmark, Environment & Resources DTU, Kongens Lyngby, Denmark

  2. 2

    DHI Water & Environment, River & Flood Management, Hørsholm, Denmark

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Hydrological modeling is introduced as an indispensable tool for testing new hypotheses and obtaining a better understanding of hydrological processes and their interaction. The difficulties in developing generic model tools because of natural heterogeneity and multiscaling are emphasized, and the concept of appropriate modeling is introduced for the application of a parameter parsimonious model that ensures a realistic simulation or prediction including assessment of the uncertainty. In model development, the basic conceptualization of a model is governing the crucial choices of scale, dimension, discretization, and process delimitation. Hydrological models are classified according to their primary application area. In model calibration and validation, the use of split sampling techniques and automatic calibration procedures is underlined. The sources of model uncertainty are presented and different assessment techniques including first-order analysis, Monte Carlo-based methods, the GLUE framework, and Bayesian procedures are briefly introduced along with data assimilation techniques to enhance the predictive capabilities.


  • modeling;
  • heterogeneity;
  • scale;
  • conceptualization;
  • classification;
  • calibration;
  • validation;
  • uncertainty