Standard Article

11 Upscaling and Downscaling – Dynamic Models

Part 1. Theory, Organization and Scale

  1. Mark Wigmosta,
  2. Rajiv Prasad

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa010

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Wigmosta, M. and Prasad, R. 2006. Upscaling and Downscaling – Dynamic Models. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 1:11.

Author Information

  1. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Environmental Technology Division, Richland, WA, US

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Transferring information from one spatial or temporal scale to another (scaling) presents one of the most daunting scientific challenges in hydrology. This is particularly true in hydrological modeling where disparities in scale exist in nearly every phase of model development and application. This article discusses scales, hydrological processes, heterogeneity, upscaling, and downscaling as applied to dynamic hydrological modeling. It is not meant to be an exhaustive discussion covering the entire range of scale issues in hydrology, or of hydrological modeling, rather it attempts to summarize the relevant issues and illustrate some approaches using specific examples to address upscaling and downscaling in hydrological model development and application.


  • scales;
  • upscaling;
  • downscaling;
  • heterogeneity;
  • hydrologic modeling