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Hydrology 2014, 1(1), 20-39; doi:10.3390/hydrology1010020
Article

Evaluating Three Hydrological Distributed Watershed Models: MIKE-SHE, APEX, SWAT

1,†,* , 1,†
, 1,†
 and 2,†
1 Department of Bioresources Engineering, McGill University, Montreal, QC H9X 3V9, Canada 2 Department of Civil Engineering, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2013 / Revised: 29 March 2014 / Accepted: 4 April 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
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Abstract

Selecting the right model to simulate a specific watershed has always been a challenge, and field testing of watersheds could help researchers to use the proper model for their purposes. The performance of three popular Geographic Information System (GIS)-based watershed simulation models (European Hydrological System Model (MIKE SHE), Agricultural Policy/Environmental Extender (APEX) and Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT)) were evaluated for their ability to simulate the hydrology of the 52.6 km2 Canagagigue Watershed located in the Grand River Basin in southern Ontario, Canada. All three models were calibrated for a four-year period and then validated using an independent four-year period by comparing simulated and observed daily, monthly and annual streamflow. The simulated flows generated by the three models are quite similar and closely match the observed flow, particularly for the calibration results. The mean daily/monthly flow at the outlet of the Canagagigue Watershed simulated by MIKE SHE was more accurate than that simulated by either the SWAT or the APEX model, during both the calibration and validation periods. Moreover, for the validation period, MIKE SHE predicted the overall variation of streamflow slightly better than either SWAT or APEX.
Keywords: hydrology; MIKE SHE; APEX; SWAT; Canagagigue hydrology; MIKE SHE; APEX; SWAT; Canagagigue
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Golmohammadi, G.; Prasher, S.; Madani, A.; Rudra, R. Evaluating Three Hydrological Distributed Watershed Models: MIKE-SHE, APEX, SWAT. Hydrology 2014, 1, 20-39.

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