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Explaining spatial variability in mean annual runoff in the conterminous United States

Climate Research

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Abstract

The hydrologic concepts needed in a water-balance model to estimate the spatial variation in mean annual runoff for the 344 climate divisions in the conterminous United States (U.S.) were determined. The concepts that were evaluated were the climatic supply of water (precipitation), climatic demand for water (potential evapotranspiration), seasonality in supply and demand, and soil-moisture-storage capacity. Most (91%) of the spatial variability in mean annual runoff for the climate divisions in the conterminous U.S. was explained by the spatial variability of mean annual precipitation minus mean annual potential evapotranspiration. When soil-moisture-storage capacity and seasonality in supply and demand were added to the water balance, the explained variance in mean annual runoff increased slightly, and the error in estimated mean annual runoff decreased significantly. Adding soil-moisture-storage capacity and seasonality in supply and demand provided the most improvement in areas where seasonal supply and demand are out of phase.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Explaining spatial variability in mean annual runoff in the conterminous United States
Series title:
Climate Research
Volume
11
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Climate Research
First page:
149
Last page:
159
Number of Pages:
11