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Effects of critical source area on sediment yield and streamflow



The spatial discretization scale determines the degree to which the spatial heterogeneity of the surface condition and the stream network can be represented. Discretization scale can have a significant impact on watershed model results, with respect to both hydrology and water quality. The impact of critical source area (CSA) on simulated water yield for each cell can be assessed for streamflow and run-off using the Annualized Agricultural Non-Point Source (AnnAGNPS) model. The total number of cells simulated for the six watersheds ranged from 8 to 352 for various CSA combinations. Increasing the number of subwatersheds increased water and sediment yield in many watersheds. Increasing the number of cells influences the depiction of land use and soil type accordingly and therefore influences run-off. The applied CSAs were also compared with topographic parameters such as average cell slope, average channel slope and length to width ratio of each watershed.