Journal cover Journal topic
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5293-5313, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5293-2017
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
20 Oct 2017
The CAMELS data set: catchment attributes and meteorology for large-sample studies
Nans Addor1,a, Andrew J. Newman1, Naoki Mizukami1, and Martyn P. Clark1 1Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
anow at: Climatic Research Unit, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
Abstract. We present a new data set of attributes for 671 catchments in the contiguous United States (CONUS) minimally impacted by human activities. This complements the daily time series of meteorological forcing and streamflow provided by Newman et al. (2015b). To produce this extension, we synthesized diverse and complementary data sets to describe six main classes of attributes at the catchment scale: topography, climate, streamflow, land cover, soil, and geology. The spatial variations among basins over the CONUS are discussed and compared using a series of maps. The large number of catchments, combined with the diversity of the attributes we extracted, makes this new data set well suited for large-sample studies and comparative hydrology. In comparison to the similar Model Parameter Estimation Experiment (MOPEX) data set, this data set relies on more recent data, it covers a wider range of attributes, and its catchments are more evenly distributed across the CONUS. This study also involves assessments of the limitations of the source data sets used to compute catchment attributes, as well as detailed descriptions of how the attributes were computed. The hydrometeorological time series provided by Newman et al. (2015b, https://doi.org/10.5065/D6MW2F4D) together with the catchment attributes introduced in this paper (https://doi.org/10.5065/D6G73C3Q) constitute the freely available CAMELS data set, which stands for Catchment Attributes and MEteorology for Large-sample Studies.

Citation: Addor, N., Newman, A. J., Mizukami, N., and Clark, M. P.: The CAMELS data set: catchment attributes and meteorology for large-sample studies, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 5293-5313, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-21-5293-2017, 2017.
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We introduce a data set describing the landscape of 671 catchments in the contiguous USA: we synthesized various data sources to characterize the topography, climate, streamflow, land cover, soil, and geology of each catchment. This extends the daily time series of meteorological forcing and discharge provided by an earlier study. The diversity of these catchments will help to improve our understanding and modeling of how the interplay between catchment attributes shapes hydrological processes.
We introduce a data set describing the landscape of 671 catchments in the contiguous USA: we...
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