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DRAINMOD: Model Use, Calibration, and Validation

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 55(4): 1509-1522. (doi: 10.13031/2013.42259) @2012
Authors:   R. W. Skaggs, M. A. Youssef, G. M. Chescheir
Keywords:   Controlled drainage, Drainage, Drainage water management, Subirrigation, Water table, Wetland hydrology

DRAINMOD is a process-based, distributed, field-scale model developed to describe the hydrology of poorly drained and artificially drained soils. The model is based on water balances in the soil profile, on the field surface, and, in some cases, in the drainage system. This article briefly describes the model and the algorithms that are used to quantify the various hydrologic components. Inputs for soil properties, site parameters, weather data, and crop characteristics required in the application of the model are presented and discussed with respect to their role in calibration. Methods for determining field effective values of key inputs to the model, either independently or as a part of the calibration process, are demonstrated in a case study. The case study involved calibrating DRAINMOD with two years of field data for a subsurface drained agricultural field in eastern North Carolina, followed by testing or validation of the model with two additional years of data. Performance statistics indicated that the model with calibrated input data accurately predicted daily water table depths with Nash-Sutcliffe modeling efficiency (EF) values of 0.68 and 0.72, daily drainage rates (EF = 0.73 and 0.49), and monthly drainage volumes (EF = 0.87 and 0.77) for the two-year validation period.

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