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Article

The Importance of High Resolution Digital Elevation Models for Improved Hydrological Simulations of a Mediterranean Forested Catchment

1
RAIZ—Forest and Paper Research Institute, Quinta de S. Francisco, Rua José Estevão (EN 230-1), Eixo, 3800-783 Aveiro, Portugal
2
Navigator Forest Portugal, Zona Industrial da Mitrena, 2910-738 Setúbal, Portugal
3
Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analytics Division, GMV, Isaac Newton 11, P.T.M. Tres Cantos, E-28760 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(20), 3287; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203287
Received: 27 August 2020 / Revised: 6 October 2020 / Accepted: 8 October 2020 / Published: 10 October 2020
Eco-hydrological models can be used to support effective land management and planning of forest resources. These models require a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), in order to accurately represent the morphological surface and to simulate catchment responses. This is particularly relevant on low altimetry catchments, where a high resolution DEM can result in a more accurate representation of terrain morphology (e.g., slope, flow direction), and therefore a better prediction of hydrological responses. This work intended to use Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess the influence of DEM resolutions (1 m, 10 m and 30 m) on the accuracy of catchment representations and hydrological responses on a low relief forest catchment with a dry and hot summer Mediterranean climate. The catchment responses were simulated using independent SWAT models built up using three DEMs. These resolutions resulted in marked differences regarding the total number of channels, their length as well as the hierarchy. Model performance was increasingly improved using fine resolutions DEM, revealing a bR2 (0.87, 0.85 and 0.85), NSE (0.84, 0.67 and 0.60) and Pbias (−14.1, −27.0 and −38.7), respectively, for 1 m, 10 m and 30 m resolutions. This translates into a better timing of the flow, improved volume simulation and significantly less underestimation of the flow. View Full-Text
Keywords: forested catchment; forestry; hydrological modeling; SWAT model; DEM forested catchment; forestry; hydrological modeling; SWAT model; DEM
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rocha, J.; Duarte, A.; Silva, M.; Fabres, S.; Vasques, J.; Revilla-Romero, B.; Quintela, A. The Importance of High Resolution Digital Elevation Models for Improved Hydrological Simulations of a Mediterranean Forested Catchment. Remote Sens. 2020, 12, 3287. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203287

AMA Style

Rocha J, Duarte A, Silva M, Fabres S, Vasques J, Revilla-Romero B, Quintela A. The Importance of High Resolution Digital Elevation Models for Improved Hydrological Simulations of a Mediterranean Forested Catchment. Remote Sensing. 2020; 12(20):3287. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203287

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rocha, João, André Duarte, Margarida Silva, Sérgio Fabres, José Vasques, Beatriz Revilla-Romero, and Ana Quintela. 2020. "The Importance of High Resolution Digital Elevation Models for Improved Hydrological Simulations of a Mediterranean Forested Catchment" Remote Sensing 12, no. 20: 3287. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12203287

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