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Linking SWAT and SOBEK Using Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI) for Sediment Transport Simulation in the Blue Nile River Basin

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 54(5): 1749-1757. (doi: 10.13031/2013.39847) @2011
Authors:   G. D. Betrie, A. van Griensven, Y. A. Mohamed, I. Popescu, A. E. Mynett, S. Hummel
Keywords:   Blue Nile, Model integration, OpenMI, Sediment transport, SOBEK, Soil erosion, SWAT

Computer models assist basin-scale decision making by taking into account upstream-downstream interdependencies. The SWAT (hydrological) model code was developed into an OpenMI-compliant version and linked with the SOBEK (hydrodynamic) model to extend SWAT's simulations of basin-scale streamflow and sediment transport. The development of an OpenMI-compliant version of SWAT involved reorganizing the SWAT model code and wrapping it with the OpenMI wrapper utility. The modified SWAT model was linked to the SOBEK model and applied to simulate sediment transport in the Blue Nile River basin. The SWAT model simulated the streamflow and soil erosion in the upstream catchment, while the SOBEK model routed the streamflow and sediment downstream to the basin outlet. Prior to the linking, both the SWAT and SOBEK models were individually calibrated. The results showed that the coupled models simulated the observed hydrodynamics and sediment deposition due to backwater effects, which would not be possible with the SWAT model alone. The developed OpenMI-compliant SWAT model can further be linked to groundwater, climate change, and socioeconomic models to address integrated water resources management needs.

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