Published December 11, 2023 | Version 0.8
Dataset Open

Catchment attributes and hydro-meteorological time series for large-sample studies across hydrologic Switzerland (CAMELS-CH)

  • 1. Eawag, Switzerland
  • 2. University of Bern, Switzerland
  • 3. ETH Zürich, Switzerland
  • 4. University of Zurich, Switzerland
  • 5. Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Switzerland
  • 6. University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 7. WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • 8. University of Melbourne, Australia
  • 9. WSL, Switzerland


CAMELS-CH (Catchment Attributes and MEteorology for large-sample Studies - Switzerland) is a large-sample hydro-meteorological data set for hydrological Switzerland in Central Europe that covers 331 basins within Switzerland and neighboring countries (Austria, France, Germany and Italy).  CAMELS-CH comprises dynamic hydro-meteorological variables and static catchment attributes.

The data set covers 40 years of data between 1st January 1981 and 31st December 2020 for each catchment: daily time series of stream flow and water levels, of meteorological data such as precipitation and air temperature and of daily snow water equivalent data. Additionally, CAMELS-CH encompasses annual time series of land cover change and glacier evolution per catchment. The static catchment attributes comprise the following categories: location and topography, climate, hydrology, soil, hydrogeology, geology, land use, human impact and glaciers.

The corresponding manuscript is published at the journal "Earth System Science Data" (ESSD) and available here. The code used to generate the dataset is available on Github.

The data description file below contains a comprehensive list of all time series and attribute variables covered by the dataset and references to the original data sources. Further, this repository contains the "Caravan extension CH" for the "Caravan - A global community dataset for large-sample hydrology" Caravan dataset (see the list of extensions). This extension has the same format like other Caravan parts and is based on the same data sources. Note that some features like the annual glacier time series, etc. are therefore only available in the original CAMELS-CH dataset.


# Updates:

- Update version 0.8: resolving projection issue for shapefiles in "Caravan_extension_CH" using EPSG:4326 (WGS84); updating readme file of "camels_ch" regarding the Dischma catchment

- Update version 0.7: update corresponding to the revision of the manuscript at  "Earth System Science Data" (ESSD)

  • dataset file delimiters have been changed to commas from semicolons
  • the "time_series" folder was renamed to "timeseries"
  • in the simulation-based data, there was an error in the previous aggregation of precipitation and evapotranspiration. The corresponding time series, affected hydrologic signatures and climatic indices were corrected
  • the order of simulation-based variables in the timeseries files was changed to resemble the order shown in the tables of the corresponding publication in ESSD
  • blank values that were masked by "NA" are now consistently indicated by "NaN"
  • the readme file has been extended

- Update version 0.6: updating links to related material (all links and references are available in the preprint/manuscript) and abstract

- Update version 0.5: adding the "camels_ch_data_description.pdf" file

- Update version 0.4: update of several static attributes in "Caravan_extension_CH" following a general update in Caravan and all its extensions + adopting the geographic coordinate system to Caravan-standard EPSG:4326

- Update version 0.3: renaming single files/entries in "Caravan_extension_CH" to start with "camelsch" as unique Caravan extension identifier

- Update version 0.2: CH extension to Caravan added


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