Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 29, Issue 6, pp 1039–1060 | Cite as

A review of underlying surface parameterization methods in hydrologic models

  • Lingling Zhao
  • Changming LiuEmail author
  • Leszek Sobkowiak
  • Xiaoxiao Wu
  • Jiafu Liu


Numerous topography, land-cover, land-use, and soil-type parameterization methods are required to simulate the hydrologic cycle. In this paper, using the principles of hydrologic cycle simulation, 20 methods commonly applied to runoff-yield simulation are analyzed. Additionally, parameterization methods used in 17 runoff-yield simulation methods and 15 confluence methods are discussed, including the degree of parameterization. Next, the parameterization methods are classified into four categories: not clearly expressed; calibrated; deterministic; and physical—conceptual. Furthermore, we clarify responses and contributions of different parameterization methods to hydrologic cycle simulation results. Finally, major weaknesses of simplified descriptions of complex rational and physical mechanisms in the parameterization methods of the underlying surfaces in hydrologic models are outlined, and two directions of future development are estimated, looking toward simple practicality and complex mechanization.


hydrologic cycle simulation watershed topography land use and cover watershed characteristics parameterization 


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Copyright information

© Science Press Springer-Verlag 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lingling Zhao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Changming Liu
    • 2
    Email author
  • Leszek Sobkowiak
    • 3
  • Xiaoxiao Wu
    • 4
  • Jiafu Liu
    • 5
  1. 1.Guangzhou Institute of GeographyGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchCASBeijingChina
  3. 3.Institute of Physical Geography and Environmental PlanningAdam Mickiewicz UniversityPoznańPoland
  4. 4.Department of Earth and EnvironmentAnhui University of Science & TechnologyHuainan, AnhuiChina
  5. 5.Maoming Branch Hydrological Bureau of Guangdong ProvinceMaoming, GuangdongChina

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