Shope, CL; Maharjan, G; Tenhunen, J; Seo, B; Kim, K; Riley, J; Arnhold, S; Koellner, T; Ok, YS; Peiffer, S; Kim, B; Park, J-H; Huwe, B: An interdisciplinary swat ecohydrological model to define catchment-scale hydrologic partitioning, Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 10, 7235-7290 (2013), doi:10.5194/hessd-10-7235-2013
Abstract: Land use and climate change have long been implicated in modifying ecosystem services, such as water quality and water yield, biodiversity, and agricultural production. To account for future effects on ecosystem services, the integration of physical, biological, economic, and social data over several scales must be implemented to assess the effects on natural resource availability and use. Our objective is to assess the capability of the SWAT model to capture short-duration monsoonal rainfall-runoff processes in complex mountainous terrain under rapid, event-driven processes in a monsoonal environment. To accomplish this, we developed a unique quality-control gap-filling algorithm for interpolation of high frequency meteorological data. We used a novel multi-location, multi-optimization calibration technique to improve estimations of catchment-wide hydrologic partitioning. We calibrated the interdisciplinary model to a combination of statistical, hydrologic, and plant growth metrics. In addition, we used multiple locations of different drainage area, aspect, elevation, and geologic substrata distributed throughout the catchment. Results indicate scale-dependent sensitivity of hydrologic partitioning and substantial influence of engineered features. While our model accurately reproduced observed discharge variability, the addition of hydrologic and plant growth objective functions identified the importance of culverts in catchment-wide flow distribution. The results of this study provide a valuable resource to describe landscape controls and their implication on discharge, sediment transport, and nutrient loading. This study also shows the challenges of applying the SWAT model to complex terrain and extreme environments. By incorporating anthropogenic features into modeling scenarios, we can greatly enhance our understanding of the hydroecological impacts on ecosystem services.
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