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Research Project: Enhancing Water Resources, Production Efficiency and Ecosystem Services in Gulf Atlantic Coastal Plain Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Southeast Watershed Research

Title: SWAT+ estimates of peak flows for a Coastal Plain Watershed

Author
item Bosch, David - Dave
item BIEGER, KATRIN - TEXAS A&M AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
item Arnold, Jeffrey
item ALLEN, PETER - BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Annual International SWAT Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2019
Publication Date: 7/17/2019
Citation: Bosch, D.D., Bieger, K., Arnold, J.G., Allen, P. 2019. SWAT+ estimates of peak flows for a Coastal Plain Watershed [abstract]. Annual International SWAT Conference. Pg. 5.

Interpretive Summary: Peak-streamflow estimates are required for assessment of flood risk, flood-plain management, and cost effective design of structures. In watersheds with shallow water tables, peak-streamflow is heavily influenced by available water storage in the subsoil. Available storage is influenced by topography, geology, vegetation, antecedent rainfall, and climatic season. Accurate streamflow estimates must incorporate accurate representations of the available storage. We examined forty-five (1972-2016) years of streamflow data from the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW) to test the ability of the SWAT+ model to estimate peak streamflow. The LREW is located near Tifton, Georgia, in the Southeastern Plains Ecoregion of the U.S.A. Flow within the watershed is heavily influenced by groundwater. The peak flow events from this period of record were examined based upon antecedent rainfall and climatic season. Comparisons were then made between the observed peak flow data and SWAT+ estimates of peak flow. The ability of the SWAT+ model to accurately estimate peak flow for the LREW based upon precipitation and climatic season was evaluated.

Technical Abstract: Peak-streamflow estimates are required for assessment of flood risk, flood-plain management, and cost effective design of structures. In watersheds with shallow water tables, peak-streamflow is heavily influenced by available water storage in the subsoil. Available storage is influenced by topography, geology, vegetation, antecedent rainfall, and climatic season. Accurate streamflow estimates must incorporate accurate representations of the available storage. We examined forty-five (1972-2016) years of streamflow data from the Little River Experimental Watershed (LREW) to test the ability of the SWAT+ model to estimate peak streamflow. The LREW is located near Tifton, Georgia, in the Southeastern Plains Ecoregion of the U.S.A. Flow within the watershed is heavily influenced by groundwater. The peak flow events from this period of record were examined based upon antecedent rainfall and climatic season. Comparisons were then made between the observed peak flow data and SWAT+ estimates of peak flow. The ability of the SWAT+ model to accurately estimate peak flow for the LREW based upon precipitation and climatic season was evaluated.