617 Hydrological Sciences Laboratory

Our Focus

Our focus within Hydrological Sciences is to develop remote sensing and modeling techniques that will improve our understanding of how the various components of the hydrological cycle interact over a broad range of spatial and temporal scales, thus producing important information about the current structure of global hydrology and how mankind is changing the hydrological environment.

Mean annual fluxes (1000 km3/yr) of the global water cycle, and associated uncertainties, during the first decade of the millennium. White numbers are based on observational products and data integrating models. Blue numbers are estimates that have been optimized by forcing water and energy budget closure, taking into account uncertainty in the original estimates.  From Rodell, M., Beaudoing, H. K., L’Ecuyer, T. S., Olson, W. S., Famiglietti, J. S., et al. (2015).


Water is critical to sustaining life on Earth. Hydrological Sciences of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center recognizes the primary role of water in the Earth system and seeks to advance hydrological science and applications from local to global scales. Hydrological Sciences is dedicated to the understanding, quantification, and analysis of the different components of the hydrological cycle, with particular emphasis on land surface hydrological processes and their interaction with the atmosphere. We strive to conduct research that will advance our ability to understand and measure global hydrological processes, and to predict the response of global hydrology to anthropogenic and/or natural climate change.