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Article

Using SWAT to Evaluate Streamflow and Lake Sediment Loading in the Xinjiang River Basin with Limited Data

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National Research Council Resident Research Associate at the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, 919 Kerr Research Drive, Ada, OK 74820, USA
2
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Center for Environmental Solutions and Emergency Response, Robert S. Kerr Environmental Research Center, 919 Kerr Research Dr., Ada, OK 74820, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010039
Received: 31 October 2019 / Revised: 3 December 2019 / Accepted: 4 December 2019 / Published: 20 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
Soil erosion and lake sediment loading are primary concerns of watershed managers around the world. In the Xinjiang River Basin of China, severe soil erosion occurs primarily during monsoon periods, resulting in sediment flow into Poyang Lake and subsequently causing lake water quality deterioration. Here, we identified high-risk soil erosion areas and conditions that drive sediment yield in a watershed system with limited available data to guide localized soil erosion control measures intended to support reduced sediment load into Poyang Lake. We used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model to simulate monthly and annual sediment yield based on a calibrated SWAT streamflow model, identified where sediment originated, and determined what geographic factors drove the loading within the watershed. We applied monthly and daily streamflow discharge (1985–2009) and monthly suspended sediment load data (1985–2001) to Meigang station to conduct parameter sensitivity analysis, calibration, validation, and uncertainty analysis of the model. The coefficient of determination (R2), Nash–Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), percent bias (PBIAS), and RMSE -observation’s standard deviation ratio (RSR) values of the monthly sediment load were 0.63, 0.62, 3.8%, and 0.61 during calibration, respectively. Spatially, the annual sediment yield rate ranged from 3 ton ha−1year−1 on riparian lowlands of the Xinjiang main channel to 33 ton ha−1year−1 on mountain highlands, with a basin-wide mean of 19 ton ha−1year−1. The study showed that 99.9% of the total land area suffered soil loss (greater than 5 ton ha−1year−1). More sediment originated from the southern mountain highlands than from the northern mountain highlands of the Xinjiang river channel. These results suggest that specific land use types and geographic conditions can be identified as hotspots of sediment source with relatively scarce data; in this case, orchards, barren lands, and mountain highlands with slopes greater than 25° were the primary sediment source areas. This study developed a reliable, physically-based streamflow model and illustrates critical source areas and conditions that influence sediment yield. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; SWAT-CUP; soil erosion; streamflow modeling; sediment yield; Xinjiang River basin SWAT; SWAT-CUP; soil erosion; streamflow modeling; sediment yield; Xinjiang River basin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yuan, L.; Forshay, K.J. Using SWAT to Evaluate Streamflow and Lake Sediment Loading in the Xinjiang River Basin with Limited Data. Water 2020, 12, 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010039

AMA Style

Yuan L, Forshay KJ. Using SWAT to Evaluate Streamflow and Lake Sediment Loading in the Xinjiang River Basin with Limited Data. Water. 2020; 12(1):39. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yuan, Lifeng, and Kenneth J. Forshay 2020. "Using SWAT to Evaluate Streamflow and Lake Sediment Loading in the Xinjiang River Basin with Limited Data" Water 12, no. 1: 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010039

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