The hydrological catchment model HYPE simulates water flow and substances on their way from precipitation through soil, river and lakes to the river outlet (Arheimer et al., 2008; Lindström et al., 2009). The catchment is divided into subbasins which in turn are divided into classes (calculation units) depending on land use, soil type and elevation (Figure 1).

The classes can not be coupled to a geographic location within the subbasin but are given as part of its area. Typical land uses are forest, lake, open land, but also different crops, e.g. cereal and potatoes, are common. Elevation can be used to get temperature variations within a subbasin to influence the snow conditions.

HYPEschema 2013
Figure 1. Schematic description of HYPE.
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The model simulates the water flow paths and nutrient transformations in soil in contrast to the HBV/HBV-NP models. The soil is modelled as several layers which may have different thickness for each class. Agricultural land classes commonly use three soil layers to simulate nutrient transformation more accurate.

The model parameters can be associated with land use (e.g. evapotranspiration) soil type (e.g. water content in soil) or be common for the whole catchment. This way to couple the parameters to geographic information makes the model better suited for simulations in ungauged catchments.

Water quality

HYPE simulates the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus divided into the following fractions: inorganic nitrogen, organic nitrogen, soluble reactive phosphorus and particulate phosphorus. In addition, organic material and conservative substances like 18O can be simulated. The calculations are made with a daily time step for water and concentrations, but result can also be delivered as mean over a longer period and in the form of transported amount of nutrients and source apportioned transport.

HYPE fig2 eng
Figure 2. Simulated and observed values of ground water table, discharge, total nitrogen concentration (Tot-N) and total phosphorus concentration (TP) after calibration of model parameters in different parts of Sweden.
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HYPE is at present being developed for use in Sweden, the catchment of the Baltic Sea, Europe, and La Plata in South America. A model application for the entire Sweden is set up for simulation of discharge and nutrient transports in 17313 subbasins (Donnelly et al., 2009). A Europe application is set up in a coarser resolution with the use of global data sets to calculate the discharge to the sea (Donnelly et al., 2009; Strömqvist et al., 2009).


  1. Arheimer, B., Dahné, J., Donnelly, C., Lindström, G., Strömqvist, J. 2011. Water and nutrient simulations using the HYPE model for Sweden vs. the Baltic Sea basin – influence of input-data quality and scale. Hydrology research 43(4):315-329.
  2. Arheimer, B., Dahné, J., Lindström, G. Marklund, L. and Strömqvist, J. 2011. Multi-variable evaluation of an integrated model system covering Sweden (S-HYPE). IAHS Publ. 345:145-150.
  3. Arheimer, B., Wallman, P., Donnelly, C., Nyström, K. and Pers, C. 2011. E-HypeWeb: Service for Water and Climate Information – and Future Hydrological Collaboration across Europe? International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems (ISESS), IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 359.
  4. Arheimer, B., Lindström, G., Pers, C., Rosberg, J. och J. Strömqvist, 2008. Development and test of a new Swedish water quality model for small-scale and large-scale applications. XXV Nordic Hydrological Conference, Reykjavik, August 11-13, 2008. NHP Report No. 50, pp. 483-492.
  5. Donnelly, C., Strömqvist, J. and Arheimer, B. 2011. Modelling climate change effects on nutrient discharges from the Baltic Sea catchment: processes and results. IAHS Publ. 348:1-6.
  6. Donnelly, C., Dahné, J., Strömqvist and Arheimer, B. 2010. Modelling Tools: From Sweden to Pan-European Scales for European WFD Data Requirements. Proceedings BALWOIS conference on Water Informaion and Observation Systems, May 2010, Macedonia.
  7. Donnelly, C., Dahné. J., Rosberg, J., Strömqvist, J., Yang, W. and Arheimer, B. 2010. High-resolution, large-scale hydrological modelling tools for Europe. IAHS Publ. 340:553-561.
  8. Donnelly, C., J. Dahne, G. Lindström, J. Rosberg, J. Strömqvist, C. Pers, W. Yang och B. Arheimer, 2009. An evaluation of multi-basin hydrological modelling for predictions in ungauged basins, Proc. of Symposium HS.2 at the joint IAHS & IAH Convention, Hyderabad, India, September 2009, IAHS Publ. 333.
  9. Lindström, G., Pers, C.P., Rosberg, R., Strömqvist, J., Arheimer, B. 2010. Development and test of the HYPE (Hydrological Predictions for the Environment) model – A water quality model for different spatial scales. Hydrology Research 41.3-4:295-319.
  10. Strömqvist, J., Arheimer, B., Dahné, J., Donnelly, C. and Lindström, G. 2011. Water and nutrient predictions in ungauged basins – Set-up and evaluation of a model at the national scale. Hydrological Sciences Journal, 57:2, 229-247.
  11. Strömqvist, J., J. Dahne, C. Donnelly, G. Lindström, J. Rosberg, C. Pers, W. Yang och B. Arheimer, 2009. Using recently developed global data sets for hydrological predictions, Proc. of Symposium HS.2 at the joint IAHS & IAH Convention, Hyderabad, India, September 2009, IAHS Publ. 333.