Do large-scale models capture reported drought events?

Marjolein H.J. Van Huijgevoort, Henny A.J. Van Lanen, Adriaan J. Teuling, Remko Uijlenhoet

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Large-scale hydrological models are used to determine drought on a global scale. However, it is important to know how well these large-scale models can reproduce major drought events in the past before projections can be made. This study presents a comparison between a multi-model ensemble and reported drought events in the literature to assess the performance of large-scale models. Major drought events in the selected period (1963-2000) were reproduced by the model ensemble median, although the duration and spatial extent differed substantially from reported events. The major drought events are caused by precipitation deficits linked to oscillations in climatic patterns, such as ENSO. This implies that major drought events were simulated if these were included in the forcing data. Spatial extent and duration of simulated drought events differed from extent and duration of reported ones due to a fast runoff response in some models.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydrology in a Changing World
Subtitle of host publicationEnvironmental and Human Dimensions - Proceedings of FRIEND-Water 2014
EditorsEric Servat, Jean-Emmanuel Paturel, Alain Dezetter, Gregor Laaha, Jean-Francois Boyer, Denis Ruelland, Siegfried Demuth, Gil Mahe, Trevor M. Daniell, Henny A. J. van Lanen
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781907161414
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event7th World Flow Regimes from International and Experimental Network Data-Water Conference, FRIEND-Water 2014 - Montpellier, France
Duration: 7 Oct 201410 Oct 2014

Publication series

NameIAHS-AISH Proceedings and Reports
ISSN (Print)0144-7815


Conference7th World Flow Regimes from International and Experimental Network Data-Water Conference, FRIEND-Water 2014


  • Global
  • Hydrological drought
  • Large-scale models
  • Runoff


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