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This paper describes the impacts of new river geomorphic and flow parameterizations on the simulated surface waters dynamics of the Amazon River basin. Three major improvements to a hydrologic model are presented: (1) the river flow velocity equation is expanded to be dependent on river sinuosity and friction in addition to gradient forces; (2) equations defining the morphological characteristics of the river, such as river height, width and bankfull volume, are derived from 31622 measurements of river morphology and applied within the model; (3) 1 km resolution topographic data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) are used to provide physically based fractional flooding of grid cells from a statistical representation of sub-grid-scale floodplain morphology. The discharge and floodplain inundation of the Amazon River is simulated for the period 1968-1998, validated against observations, and compared with results from a previous version of the model. These modifications result in considerable improvement in the simulations of the hydrological features of the Amazon River system. The major impact is that the average wet-season flooded area on the Amazon mainstem for the period 1983-1988 is now within 5% of satellite-derived estimates of flooded area, whereas the previous model overestimates the flooded area by about 80%. The improvements are a consequence of the new empirical river geomorphologic functions and the SRTM topography. The new formulation of the flow velocity equation results in increased river velocity on the mainstem and major tributaries and a better correlation between the mean monthly simulated and observed discharge. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

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