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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Ecohydrological Processes, Scale, Climate Variability, and Watershed Management

Location: Southwest Watershed Research

Title: KINEROS2/AGWA: Model use, calibration, and validation

Authors
item Goodrich, David
item Burns, I.S. -
item Unkrich, Carl
item Semmens, D. -
item Guertin, D.P. -
item Hernandez, M. -
item Yatheendradas, S. -
item Kennedy, J.R. -
item Levick, L. -

Submitted to: Transactions of the ASABE
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2012
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
Citation: Goodrich, D.C., Burns, I., Unkrich, C.L., Semmens, D., Guertin, D., Hernandez, M., Yatheendradas, S., Kennedy, J., Levick, L. 2012. KINEROS2/AGWA: Model use, calibration, and validation. Transactions of the ASABE. 55(4):1561-1574.

Interpretive Summary: When water quantity or water quality is of interest, watersheds are a natural organizing unit in our landscape. The pathways and processes that affect runoff generation from a watershed result from a complex interaction of the climate, topography, soils, land cover, and land use. Numerous computer models have been developed to estimate how a watershed produces runoff from rainfall and snowfall. The KINEROS2 and SWAT models are two common examples. These models often require significant data preparation and input to use them. To expedite this task we have developed the AGWA (Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment hydrologic modeling tool which uses nationally available spatial data sets to setup, run, and display the results from KINEROS2 and SWAT. With these tools, natural resource managers, engineers, and scientists can estimate runoff and places in the watershed that may be prone to flood damage or water quality problems. These users can also evaluate how conservation measures and changes in land use practices might improve water quality. This paper provides an overview of the KINEROS2 and AGWA tools and discusses methods that can be used to improve the model’s ability to simulate watershed response and to assess how well the model simulations agree with observations of runoff and erosion.

Technical Abstract: KINEROS (KINematic runoff and EROSion) originated in the 1960s as a distributed event-based model that conceptualizes a watershed as a cascade of overland flow model elements that flow into trapezoidal channel model elements. Development and improvement of KINEROS continued from the 1960s on a variety of projects for a range of purposes, which has resulted in a suite of KINEROS-based modeling tools. This article focuses on KINEROS2 (K2), a spatially distributed, event-based watershed rainfall-runoff and erosion model, and the companion ArcGIS-based Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool. AGWA automates the time-consuming tasks of watershed delineation into distributed model elements and initial parameterization of these elements using commonly available, national GIS data layers. A variety of approaches have been used to calibrate and validate K2 successfully across a relatively broad range of applications (e.g., urbanization, pre- and post-fire, hillslope erosion, erosion from roads, runoff and recharge, and manure transport). The case studies presented in this article (1) compare lumped to stepwise calibration and validation of runoff and sediment at plot, hillslope, and small watershed scales; and (2) demonstrate an uncalibrated application to address relative change in watershed response to wildfire.

Last Modified: 8/31/2014
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