Also known as
Model type Modular
Model part of larger framework
Note on status model
Date note status model
Incorporated models or components:
Spatial dimensions 1D, 2D
Spatial extent Regional-Scale, Landscape-Scale, Watershed-Scale
Model domain Hydrology
One-line model description LISFLOOD - a distributed hydrological rainfall-runoff model
Extended model description LISFLOOD is a spatially distributed, semi-physical hydrological rainfall-runoff model that has been developed by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in late 90ies. Since then LISFLOOD has been applied to a wide range of applications such as all kind of water resources assessments looking at e.g. the effects of climate and land-use change as well as river regulation measures. Its most prominent application is probably within the European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) operated under Copernicus Emergency Management System (EMS).

Hydrological model, Rainfall-runoff,

Name Ad de Roo
Type of contact Project manager
Institute / Organization Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission
Postal address 1
Postal address 2
Town / City Ispra
Postal code 21020
Country Italy
Email address

Supported platforms
Unix, Linux, Mac OS, Windows
Other platform
Programming language


Other program language
Code optimized Single Processor
Multiple processors implemented
Nr of distributed processors
Nr of shared processors
Start year development 1996
Does model development still take place? Yes
If above answer is no, provide end year model development
Code development status Active
When did you indicate the 'code development status'? 2020
Model availability As code
Source code availability
(Or provide future intension)
Through web repository
Source web address
Source csdms web address
Program license type Other
Program license type other European Union Public Licence V. 1.2
Memory requirements --
Typical run time --

Describe input parameters All input that LISFLOOD requires are either in map or table format.
Input format Binary
Other input format
Describe output parameters Although the model’s primary output product is channel discharge, all internal rate and state variables (soil moisture, for example) can also be written as output. In addition, all output can be written as grids, or time series at user-defined points or areas. The user has complete control over how output is written, thus minimising any waste of disk space or CPU time.
Output format Binary
Other output format aguila and NetCDF
Pre-processing software needed? No
Describe pre-processing software
Post-processing software needed? No
Describe post-processing software
Visualization software needed? Yes
If above answer is yes
Other visualization software PCRaster

Describe processes represented by the model
  • Interception
  • Evaporation of interceted water
  • Snow melt
  • Frost index
  • Water available for infiltration and direct runoff
  • Water uptake by roots & transpiration
  • Evaporation from the soil surface
  • Preferential bypass flow
  • Infiltration capacity
  • Actual infiltration and surface runoff
  • Soil moisture redistribution
  • Groundwater
  • Surface runoff routing
  • Sub-surface runoff routing
  • Channel routing
  • Irrigation
  • Water use
Describe key physical parameters and equations --
Describe length scale and resolution constraints LISFLOOD is grid-based, and applications so far have employed grid cells of as little as 100 metres (for medium-sized catchments), to 5,000 metres for modelling the whole of Europe and up to 0.1° (around 10 km) for modelling on a global scale.
Describe time scale and resolution constraints Long-term water balance can be simulated (using a daily time step), as can individual flood events (using hourly time intervals, or even smaller). The output of a “water balance run” can be used to provide the initial conditions of a “flood run”.
Describe any numerical limitations and issues --

Describe available calibration data sets --
Upload calibration data sets if available:
Describe available test data sets --
Upload test data sets if available:
Describe ideal data for testing --

Do you have current or future plans for collaborating with other researchers? --
Is there a manual available? Yes
Upload manual if available:
Model website if any
Model forum / discussion board

This part will be filled out by CSDMS staff

OpenMI compliant No but possible
BMI compliant No but possible
WMT component No but possible
PyMT component No but possible
Is this a data component
Can be coupled with:
Model info
Ad de Roo
Nr. of publications: 292
Total citations: 11626
h-index: 63
m-quotient: 2.62
Qrcode LISFLOOD.png
Link to this page




Nr. of publications: 292
Total citations: 11626
h-index: 63
m-quotient: 2.62

Featured publication(s)YearModel describedType of ReferenceCitations
van der Sande, C.J.; de Jong, S.M.; de Roo, A.P.J.; 2003. A segmentation and classification approach of IKONOS-2 imagery for land cover mapping to assist flood risk and flood damage assessment. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 4, 217–229. 10.1016/S0303-2434(03)00003-5
(View/edit entry)

Model application

Roo, A. P. J. De; Wesseling, C. G.; Deursen, W. P. A. Van; 2000. Physically based river basin modelling within a GIS: the LISFLOOD model. Hydrological Processes, 14, 1981–1992. 10.1002/1099-1085(20000815/30)14:11/123.0.CO;2-F
(View/edit entry)

Model application

De Roo, A.; Odijk, M.; Schmuck, G.; Koster, E.; Lucieer, A.; 2001. Assessing the effects of land use changes on floods in the meuse and oder catchment. Physics and Chemistry of the Earth, Part B: Hydrology, Oceans and Atmosphere, 26, 593–599. 10.1016/S1464-1909(01)00054-5
(View/edit entry)

Model application

See more publications of LISFLOOD



Input Files

Output Files