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Evaluation of SWAT Input Parameter Sensitivity for the Little River Watershed

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

Citation:  Paper number  052167,  2005 ASAE Annual Meeting . (doi: 10.13031/2013.19808) @2005
Authors:   Gary W. Feyereisen, Timothy C. Strickland, David D. Bosch, H.L. Batten
Keywords:   Hydrologic modeling, Uncertainty, Parameters

Water quantity and quality issues continue to be a concern on the Southeast Coastal Plain. Changes to land management practices can conserve soil moisture and reduce sediment, nutrient, and pesticide loadings at the field scale. The Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) watershed scale model was used to simulate the hydrologic response of a 1692-ha subwatershed of the Little River in south-central Georgia over the 1995-2004 period. When calibrated to annual average water yield for a ten-year period that included substantially wet and dry years, the model overpredicted total water yields in 7 of 10 years, primarily due to overestimation of base flow by 20%, and underprediction of evapotranspiration by 7%. Predicted annual average surface runoff was estimated to within 3% of calculated values for the ten-year period. Analysis of model input parameter sensitivity on annual total water yield and surface runoff was conducted for key hydrologic parameters within the LRW. Additional work planned includes analyzing input parameter sensitivity for daily peak flows, calibrating the model for hydrology and chemical loading, and estimating the uncertainty in the model outputs.

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