Variable Infiltration Capacity Model (VIC)

Variable Infiltration Capacity Model (VIC) is a macro scale, semi-distributed hydrologic model that solves full water and energy balances, originally developed by Xu Liang at the University of Washington. VIC is a research model and in its various forms it has been applied to most of the major river basins around the world, as well as being applied globally. 

Development and maintenance of the current official version of the VIC model is conducted at the University of Washington, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, under the direction of Bart Nijssen. Every new application addresses new problems and conditions which the model may not currently be able to handle, and as such the model is always under development.  The VIC model is an open source development project, contributions from outside the University of Washington Land Surface Hydrology Group are welcome. Archived, current, beta, and development versions of the model are available via the group's GitHub repository.

Specifically, in addition to hydrological aspects, VIC modeling can be applied to: 

  • Land Cover and Soil
  • Snow Model
  • Meteorology (Inputs, Distributed Precip, and Snow/Elevation Bands)
  • Frozen Soil (including Permafrost)
  • Dynamic Lake/Wetland Model (4.1.1 and later)
  • Flow Routing




Publication Date: November 19, 2014

Author or Affiliated User:

  • Xu Liang

Related Organizations:

  • University of Washington


Resource Category:

Resource Types:

  • Climate science
  • Modeling tool


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