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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Continuous Catchment-Scale Erosion Model

Authors
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item Srinivasan, R - TAES

Submitted to: NATO-Advanced Research Workshop on Global Change Modelling Soil Erosion by
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: December 10, 1995
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: There is an increasing concern for the offsite impacts of nonpoint source pollution including lake sedimentation and water quality and instream nutrient and toxic concentrations. The development of integrated systems consisting of comprehensive models is crucial in solving complex watershed management problems. In this study, a model is described that predicts the impact of land management practices (cropping and tillage systems, irrigation, fertilizer management, and pesticide applications) on offsite problems including stream and lake quality. The model is applied to a watershed in Indiana and simulated results compared to measured sediment and nutrient loadings. The model should provide watershed and reservoir managers a decision support tool for assessing the impact of land management on water quality.

Technical Abstract: A spatially distributed catchment model called SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) was developed that operates on a daily time step. The model allows considerable flexibility in watershed configuration and discretization. Watersheds can be subdivided into cells and/or subwatersheds. A command structure is used for routing runoff, sediment, nutrients, and pesticides through the watershed. Commands are included for simulating outputs from cells/subwatersheds, routing through channel reaches, routing through reservoirs, and adding outputs. The command structure file can be generated automatically from the drainage patterns. The model is being applied on a small watershed within the Indian Pines Experimental Watershed near West Lafayette, Indiana. The 329 hectare watershed is subdivided into 100 x 100 meter cells for model simulation and validation.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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