Global Streamflow Characteristics Dataset

The latest version of the GSCD (version 1.9) including documentation (115 MB) can be downloaded here


The Global Streamflow Characteristics Dataset (GSCD) consists of global maps of 17 streamflow characteristics, including baseflow index, runoff coefficient, and flow timing, providing information about catchment behavior for the entire land surface including ungauged regions. The maps are unique in the sense that they were derived using a data-driven (top down) approach based on streamflow observations from thousands of catchments around the globe, rather than using a physically-based (bottom up) process model. The GSCD can be used for a wide range of large-scale hydrological applications, such as water resource assessments, catchment classification, groundwater recharge estimation, stream ecosystem assessments, and diagnosis and parameterization of macro-scale hydrological models.
See Beck et al. [2013] and Beck et al. [2015] for further details.

File details

The maps are provided in 0.125° (~14 km at the equator) global geographic grids (WGS 84) in GeoTIFF format. The _unc suffix refers to "uncertainty" and the _obs suffix to "observed".

Licence Agreement

By using the GSCD you agree to cite Beck et al. [2015] in publications that make use of the dataset.
The dataset is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Thanks are due to Albert van Dijk, Diego Miralles, Richard de Jeu, Sampurno Bruijnzeel, Tim McVicar, Jaap Schellekens, and Ad de Roo for their contributions to the development of the GSCD. The Global Runoff Data Centre (GRDC) and the US Geological Survey (USGS) are thanked for providing most of the flow data.


For questions please contant Hylke Beck (hylke.beck[at]

GSCD method