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TMDL Data Requirements for Agricultural Watersheds

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

Citation:  Pp. 408-415 in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Environmental Regulations: Proceedings of the March 11-13, 2002 Conference, (Fort Worth, Texas, USA)  701P0102.(doi:10.13031/2013.7588)
Authors:   A.S. Cotter, I. Chaubey, T.A. Costello, M.A. Nelson, T. Soerens
Keywords:   SWAT, DEM data resolution, Output uncertainty, model calibration

This paper describes the effect of DEM data resolution on predictions from the SWAT model for total maximum daily load (TMDL) development. Measured hydrologic, meteorological, watershed characteristics, and water quality data from Lincoln Lake watershed (near Lincoln, AR) were used in the simulation. The effect of input data resolution was evaluated by running seven scenarios at increasing DEM grid sizes (30 x 30 m, 100 x 100 m, 150 x 150 m, 200 x 200 m, 300 x 300 m, 500 x 500 m, and 900 x 900 m). The model was calibrated on an annual basis for discharge, NO3-N, and total P using 30 x 30 m DEM data. The predicted output at the calibrated scale was used to evaluate output accuracy for the remaining input resolutions. Results of this study showed that DEM resolution affects the watershed delineation, stream network and sub-basin classification in the SWAT model. Lower values of discharge, NO3-N, and total P were predicted at the 5 coarsest DEM resolutions, probably due to decrease in computed total watershed area. The model predicted higher values of all three parameters at 100 m DEM resolution, when the total watershed area increased compared to the base 30 m resolution.

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