EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Eric Wood’s contributions to Scaling in Hydrology

Günter Blöschl
Günter Blöschl
  • Vienna University of Technology, Institute for Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, wien, Austria (

This presentation will briefly review the scaling and similarity concepts developed by Eric Wood and evaluate their impact on the development of the hydrological science, in particular distributed hydrological modeling.

Eric Wood was a pioneer in fundamental research on scaling and similarity of catchment hydrologic response. He introduced the “representative elementary area” concept that showed that catchment response could be represented in terms of “building blocks” of some minimum size. This thinking launched him into the era of spatially distributed hydrologic modeling. Eric was the first to develop a distributed modeling framework that accounted for the effects of topography and land ­surface–​­atmosphere interactions involving coupled ­water–​­energy dynamics. Many of the distributed modeling concepts Eric pioneered found their way into the Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) macroscale hydrology model, which has become a common land surface parameterization scheme in global circulation models used in global change science.

How to cite: Blöschl, G.: Eric Wood’s contributions to Scaling in Hydrology, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-1900,, 2022.