Next Article in Journal
Impacts of Sea Level Rise and River Discharge on the Hydrodynamics Characteristics of Jakarta Bay (Indonesia)
Previous Article in Journal
River Model Calibration Based on Design of Experiments Theory. A Case Study: Meta River, Colombia
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle

Simulation and Analysis of the Water Balance of the Nam Co Lake Using SWAT Model

State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Lanzhou 730000, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
CAS Centre for Excellence in Tibetan Plateau Earth Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
Key Laboratory of Tibetan Environment Changes and Land Surface Processes, Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
Institute of International Rivers and Eco-Security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650000, China
Department of Agricultural Engineering, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture, Multan 66000, Pakistan
Division of Hydrology Water-Land Resources in Cold and Arid Regions, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(7), 1383;
Received: 26 May 2019 / Revised: 27 June 2019 / Accepted: 3 July 2019 / Published: 5 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
PDF [9410 KB, uploaded 5 July 2019]


Rapid change of alpine lakes in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) is a clear manifestation of regional-scale climate variability that can be investigated by quantifying the regional hydrological cycle. The degree-day model (DDM) coupled with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model were used to quantify the water budget of the Nam Co Lake over the period of 2007 to 2013. Driven by local observed meteorological data, the coupled model was successfully validated with the observed lake levels (with R2 = 0.65, NSE = 0.61, and PBIAS = −2.26). Analysis of the water balance revealed that rapid enlargement of the Nam Co Lake was primarily associated with precipitation increase while glacier melt played its role as the potential secondary driver in lake expansion. However, temporal analysis of lake expansion displayed that supremacy of precipitation and glacier melt interchanged between the years. It was found that average annual relative contributions of the precipitation, including direct precipitation on the lake, and glacier melt to the lake were 57% (or 667 mm), and 43% (or 502 mm), respectively. Besides, it was observed that annual values of actual evapotranspiration (ET) from the lake, glaciated, and non-glaciated subbasins were 615 mm, 280 mm, and 234 mm respectively. The average annual glacier mass balance (GMB) of the Nam Co basin was −150.9 millimeter water equivalent (mm w.e.). The relatively high amount of glacier melt was a consequence of the substantial increase in annual temperature in the lake basin. This work is of importance for understanding the rapid water cycle in the TP under global warming. Moreover, this work will also be helpful in monitoring and sustaining the local ecosystem and infrastructure, which is under risk due to rapid lake expansion as a result of climate change in the TP. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT model; degree-day model; water balance; glacier mass balance; Nam Co basin SWAT model; degree-day model; water balance; glacier mass balance; Nam Co basin

Figure 1

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 (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Adnan, M.; Kang, S.; Zhang, G.; Saifullah, M.; Anjum, M.N.; Ali, A.F. Simulation and Analysis of the Water Balance of the Nam Co Lake Using SWAT Model. Water 2019, 11, 1383.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top