Modelling of catchment runoff for river applications

Catchment runoff from precipitation and snow melt is the primary source of water to most of our rivers. The possibility to accurately calculate the runoff from catchments with varying hydrological properties is crucial for, among other purposes, creating reliable hydrodynamic river models.

The MIKE HYDRO River rainfall-runoff module includes a variety of catchment runoff models. The most commonly applied models comprise:

  • NAM, a lumped and conceptual catchment runoff model with continuous accounting of moisture content in sub-surface zones
  • UHM, the standard unit hydrograph method for single storm events
  • urban models tailored to runoff calculations in urban environments

With MIKE SHE, you can apply more complex distributed hydrology through process-oriented catchment modelling. This is especially relevant when more advanced catchment applications with fully distributed modelling of overland flow, soil water and groundwater processes are required.

Common applications of catchment runoff modelling with MIKE HYDRO River include:

  • Inflow forecasting to rivers and reservoirs
  • Runoff impact assessments for land use changes
  • Climate change scenario analysis
  • Long-term water resources analysis and planning


  • Continuous and fast runoff models for effective forecast modelling
  • Coupled runoff and hydrodynamic simulations