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133 Rainfall-Runoff Modeling of Ungauged Catchments

Part 11. Rainfall-Runoff Modeling

  1. Günter Blöschl

Published Online: 15 APR 2006

DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa140

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences

How to Cite

Blöschl, G. 2006. Rainfall-Runoff Modeling of Ungauged Catchments. Encyclopedia of Hydrological Sciences. 11:133.

Author Information

  1. Institute for Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2006


Catchments where no runoff data are available are termed ungauged catchments. For these catchments, the parameters of rainfall-runoff models cannot be obtained by the calibration on runoff data and hence need to be obtained by other methods. Model parameters that require calibration are usually transposed from similar gauged catchments. This article reviews concepts for identifying hydrologic similarity as well as methods for transposing the parameters of both event models and explicit soil moisture accounting (ESMA) models. Model parameters that are physically based are usually measured or inferred from other data within the ungauged catchment of interest. This article summarizes the most important methods and discusses the issues of using point scale field data in rainfall-runoff models. Alternatives to runoff data for model calibration are suggested. The value of soft data and qualitative field observations is emphasized.


  • calibration;
  • catchment attributes;
  • field data;
  • hydrological similarity;
  • model parameters;
  • physically based model;
  • regionalization;
  • remote sensing;
  • soft data;
  • upscaling