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Open AccessArticle

Simulated Runoff and Sediment Yield Responses to Land-Use Change Using the SWAT Model in Northeast China

College of Architecture and Civil Engineering, Beijing University of Technology (BJUT), Beijing 100124, China
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin & China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), Beijing 100038, China
College of Resources and Environmental Science, China Agricultural University (CAU), Beijing 100094, China
Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Hong Kong (HKU), Pokfulam 999077, Hong Kong, China
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(5), 915;
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 25 April 2019 / Accepted: 27 April 2019 / Published: 1 May 2019
PDF [6672 KB, uploaded 20 May 2019]


Land-use change is one key factor influencing the hydrological process. In this study, the Hun River Basin (HRB) (7919 km2), a typical alpine region with only four gauge meteorological stations, was selected as the study area. The China Meteorological Assimilation Driving Datasets for the SWAT model (CMADS), widely adopted in East Asia, was used with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to simulate runoff and sediment yield responses to land-use change and to examine the accuracy of CMADS in the HRB. The criteria values for daily/monthly runoff and monthly sediment yield simulations were satisfactory; however, the validation of daily sediment yield was poor. Forestland decreased sediment yield throughout the year, increased water percolation, and reduced runoff during the wet season, while it decreased water percolation and increased runoff during the dry season. The responses of grassland and forestland to runoff and sediment yield were similar, but the former was weaker than the latter in terms of soil and water conservation. Cropland (urban land) generally increased (increased) runoff and increased (decreased) sediment yield; however, a higher sediment yield could occur in urban land than that in cropland when precipitation was light. View Full-Text
Keywords: runoff; sediment yield; land-use change; SWAT; CMADS runoff; sediment yield; land-use change; SWAT; CMADS

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Zhang, L.; Meng, X.; Wang, H.; Yang, M. Simulated Runoff and Sediment Yield Responses to Land-Use Change Using the SWAT Model in Northeast China. Water 2019, 11, 915.

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