Development of a SWAT Patch for Better Estimation of Sediment Yield in Steep Sloping Watersheds1

Authors

  • Jong-Gun Kim,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (J-G. Kim, Park, and Yoo), Professor (K-S. Kim), and Assistant Professor (Lim), Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon, South Korea
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  • Younshik Park,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (J-G. Kim, Park, and Yoo), Professor (K-S. Kim), and Assistant Professor (Lim), Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon, South Korea
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  • Dongsun Yoo,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (J-G. Kim, Park, and Yoo), Professor (K-S. Kim), and Assistant Professor (Lim), Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon, South Korea
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  • Nam-Won Kim,

    1. Principal Research Fellow (N-W. Kim), Water Resources Research Department, Korea Institute of Construction Technology, Kyounggi, South Korea
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  • Bernard A. Engel,

    1. Professor (Engel), Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, 225 South University Street, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2093
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  • Seong-joon Kim,

    1. Professor (S-J. Kim), Civil and Environmental System Engineering, Konkuk University, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, South Korea
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  • Ki-Sung Kim,

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (J-G. Kim, Park, and Yoo), Professor (K-S. Kim), and Assistant Professor (Lim), Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon, South Korea
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  • Kyoung Jae Lim

    1. Respectively, Graduate Student (J-G. Kim, Park, and Yoo), Professor (K-S. Kim), and Assistant Professor (Lim), Department of Agricultural Engineering, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Kangwon, South Korea
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  • 1

    Paper No. JAWRA-08-0150-P of the Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA). Discussions are open until six months from print publication.

(E-Mail/Lim: kjlim@kangwon.ac.kr).

Abstract

Abstract:  The watershed scale Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model divides watersheds into smaller subwatersheds for simulation of rainfall-runoff and sediment loading at the field level and routing through stream networks. Typically, the SWAT model first needs to be calibrated and validated for accurate estimation through adjustment of sensitive input parameters (i.e., Curve Number values, USLE P, slope and slope-length, and so on). However, in some instances, SWAT-simulated results are greatly affected by the watershed delineation and Digital Elevation Models (DEM) cell size. In this study, the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II was developed for steep sloping watersheds, and its performance was evaluated for various threshold values and DEM cell size scenarios when delineating subwatersheds using the SWAT model. The SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II was developed using the ArcView GIS Avenue program and Spatial Analyst libraries. The SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II improves upon the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch I because it reflects the topographic factor in calculating the field slope-length of Hydrologic Response Units in the SWAT model. The simulated sediment value for 321 subwatersheds (watershed delineation threshold value of 25 ha) is greater than that for 43 subwatersheds (watershed delineation threshold value of 200 ha) by 201% without applying the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II. However, when the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II was applied, the difference in simulated sediment yield decreases for the same scenario (i.e., difference in simulated sediment with 321 subwatersheds and 43 subwatersheds) was 12%. The simulated sediment value for DEM cell size of 50 m is greater than that for DEM cell size of 10 m by 19.8% without the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II. However, the difference becomes smaller (3.4% difference) between 50 and 10 m with the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II for the DEM scenarios. As shown in this study, the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II can reduce differences in simulated sediment values for various watershed delineation and DEM cell size scenarios. Without the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II, variations in the SWAT-simulated results using various watershed delineation and DEM cell size scenarios could be greater than those from input parameter calibration. Thus, the results obtained in this study show that the SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II should be used when simulating hydrology and sediment yield for steep sloping watersheds (especially if average slope of the subwatershed is >25%) for more accurate simulation of hydrology and sediment using the SWAT model. The SWAT ArcView GIS Patch II is available at http://www.EnvSys.co.kr/~swat for free download.

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