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HSPF: Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN

The Hydrological Simulation Program - FORTRAN (HSPF) is a comprehensive package for simulation of watershed hydrology and water quality for both conventional and toxic organic pollutants. HSPF incorporates the watershed-scale ARM and NPS models into a basin-scale analysis framework that includes fate and transport in one-dimensional stream channels. It is the only comprehensive model of watershed hydrology and water quality that allows the integrated simulation of land and soil contaminant runoff processes with in-stream hydraulic and sediment-chemical interactions.
The result of this simulation is a time history of the runoff flow rate, sediment load, and nutrient and organic chemical concentrations, along with a time history of water quantity and quality at any point in a watershed. HSPF simulates three sediment types (sand, silt, and clay) in addition to three organic chemicals (or one chemical and 2 transformation products of that chemical). The transport and reaction processes included are hydrolysis, oxidation, photolysis, biodegradation, volatilization, and sorption. Sorption is modeled as a first-order kinetic process in which the user must specify a desorption rate and an equilibrium partition coefficient for each of the three solids types.

Data needs for HSPF can be extensive. HSPF is a continuous simulation program and requires continuous data to drive the model. At a minimum, continuous rainfall records are required to drive the runoff model and additional records of evapotranspiration, temperature, and solar intensity are desirable. A large number of model parameters can be specified, although default values are provided where reasonable values are not available. Special attention has been paid to cases here input parameters are omitted, and option flags allow bypassing of whole sections of HSPF here data are not available.


area: hydrology
objectives: simulation, planning
description: water quality, sediment, sediment deposition, environmental impacts, river quality, biodegradation, dilution, toxic pollutants


The program is available at:
National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
Springfield, VA 22161
Telephone 703/487-4650


Anthony S. Donigian, Jr., John C. Imhoff, Brian R. Bicknell and John L. Kittle, Jr.
Anderson-Nichols and Co.
Resources Technology Division
2666 East Bayshore Road
Palo Alto CA 94303


  • "Application Guide for Hydrological Simulation Program FORTRAN (HSPF)". (EPA 600/3-84-065). NTIS Accession Number: PB84 215 763 Cost $ 21.95
  • "Hydrological Simulation Program-FORTRAN (HSPF) - User's Manual for Release 8.0 (EPA 600/3-84-066). NTIS Accession Number: PB84 224 385 Cost $ 61.95



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