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SWAT Revisions for Simulating Landscape Components and Buffer Systems

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

Citation:  2007 ASAE Annual Meeting  072175.(doi:10.13031/2013.22940)
Authors:   David D Bosch, Jeffrey G Arnold, Martin Volk
Keywords:   Watershed modeling, natural resource modeling, surface hydrology

Methods for simulating different landscape positions within the SWAT model are being examined. A three component system, consisting of the watershed divide, the hillslope, and the floodplain landscape positions, has been developed to address flow and transport across hydrologic response units prior to concentration in streams. The modified SWAT model is capable of simulating flow and transport from higher landscape positions to lower positions within a single river basin. The revision was developed to address variable source areas within watersheds and stream-side buffer systems which exist alongside many streams. The enhanced model will allow for more accurate simulation of natural transport processes within a hillslope. The revision was tested using data collected from a low-gradient watershed near Tifton, Georgia, USA which contains heavily vegetated riparian buffers. The modified model provided reasonable simulations of surface and subsurface flow across the landscape positions without calibration. The application demonstrates the applicability of the model to simulate filtering of surface runoff, enhanced infiltration, and water quality buffering typically associated with riparian buffer systems.

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