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UNESCO River Discharge Database Development


The original UNESCO site and discharge data were entered from a hardcopy series of publications entitled "The Discharge of Selected Rivers of the World" which were published in book form from 1969 through 1984. The series has served as an important source of information on approximately 1000 stations. These were checked against existing digital UNESCO station data (NOAA - National Geophysical Data Center; WMO - Global Runoff Data Center) to form a comprehensive set of discharge sites for which summary discharge data was developed. An example of the discharge data developed for each site shows a range of information about each site.

Below is an overview of the methodology used to develop and error-check the data entries:

The basin areas given by UNESCO were compared against basin areas generated for those sites by a 30 min. simulated network topology (STN-30). Differences between the two were investigated to check the soundness of the UNESCO data as well the validity of the STN-30. Several differences were found that could not attributed to errors in the STN-30 and were assumed to be an error on the part of UNESCO and have been noted in the database. An example a graph showing the comparison between these data soures is shown here.