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Global River Classification (GloRiC)

The Global River Classification (GloRiC) provides river types and sub-classifications for all river reaches contained in the HydroRIVERS database. GloRiC has been developed by utilizing the river network delineation of HydroRIVERS combined with the hydro-enviromental characteristics from the HydroATLAS database and auxiliary information.

Version 1.0 of GloRiC provides a hydrologic, physio-climatic, and geomorphic sub-classification, as well as a combined river type for every river reach, resulting in a total of 127 river reach types. It also offers a k-means statistical clustering of the reaches into 30 groups. The dataset comprises 8.5 million river reaches with a total length of 35.9 million km.

You can find overall technical documentation here and technical information for GloRiC Canada here


Besides the global version of GloRiC, there is also a regional version for Canada available, GloRiC-Canada, which follows the same classification principles but with Canada-specific adaptations. GloRiC-Canada categorizes all river reaches of Canada into 23 types.

Disclaimer: Whole or parts of the dataset description were provided by the author(s) or their works.


Ouellet Dallaire, C., Lehner, B., Sayre, R., Thieme, M. (2019). A multidisciplinary framework to derive global river reach classifications at high
spatial resolution. Environmental Research Letters, 14(2): 024003.

Ouellet Dallaire, C., Lehner, B., Creed, I. (2020): Multidisciplinary classification of Canadian river reaches to support the sustainable management
of freshwater systems. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, 77(2): 326–341.


Earth Engine Snippet

var gloric = ee.FeatureCollection("projects/sat-io/open-datasets/GloRiC/GloRiC_v10");
var gloric_canada = ee.FeatureCollection("projects/sat-io/open-datasets/GloRiC/GloRiC_Canada_v10");
Column Description
Reach_ID Unique identifier (ID) for every river reach Note: the first digit identifies the region/continent: 1: Africa; 2: Europe; 3: Siberia; 4: Asia; 5: Australia & Oceania; 6: South America; 7: North America; 8: American Arctic; 9: Greenland
Next_down ID of next downstream river reach Note: the next downstream ID can be used to trace the river network by navigating from reach to reach. Values of 0 indicate reaches with no further downstream connection (pour points).
Length_km Length of individual river reach [km]
Log_Q_avg Log-10 of long-term average discharge [m3 /sec]
Log_Q_var Log-10 of flow regime variability
Class_hydr Classes of hydrologic sub-classification (15 classes)
Temp_min Long-term average of the minimum air temperature of the coldest month [degrees Celsius]
CMI_indx Climate Moisture Index
Log_elev Log-10 of average elevation of the reach [meters a.s.l.]
Class_phys Classes of physio-climatic sub-classification (24 classes)
Lake_wet Lake or wetland influence [binary: 0 = no; 1 = yes]
Stream_pow Total stream power [kW/m2 ]
Class_geom Classes of geomorphic sub-classification (127 classes)
Reach_type Combined river reach type (4 classes)
Kmeans_30 Classes of k-means statistical clustering (30 classes)

Sample Code:


The data is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (see section 4). By downloading and using the data the user agrees to the terms and conditions of this license.

Created by: Ouellet Dallaire, C., Lehner, B., Sayre, R., Thieme, M. & Schmitt, O

Curated by: Samapriya Roy

Keywords: water,hydrology, rivers, discharge, depth, volume, area, gloric

Last updated: 2022-07-09