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Open AccessArticle

Improving Hydrologic Simulations of a Small Watershed through Soil Data Integration

1
Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Tropical Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Homestead, FL 33031, USA
2
Spatial Sciences Laboratory in the Department of Ecosystem Sciences and Management, Texas A&M University, 534 John Kimbrough Blvd., Room 305, College Station, TX 77843-2120, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(10), 2763; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12102763
Received: 14 August 2020 / Revised: 24 September 2020 / Accepted: 24 September 2020 / Published: 4 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
The effects of soil data sources on the performance of hydrologic model simulations remain poorly understood compared to the effects of other data inputs. This paper investigated the effects of different soil datasets in simulating streamflow and sediment yield using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Furthermore, potential improvements in watershed simulations were evaluated by integrating field measured soil parameters (user soil) with global soil datasets. Five soil datasets, namely user soil, AfSIS (Africa Soil Information Service), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and two integrated soils (User-AfSIS and User-FAO) produced by assimilating the user soil with the latter two, were evaluated. The benefits of the user soil in improving streamflow simulations to better replicate observed flow were greater at daily time steps than monthly. Compared to the individual AfSIS and FAO soils, their integration with the user soil improved the daily Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) by 0.19 and 0.17 during model calibration, respectively. Overall, all soils performed relatively similar with monthly sediment yield simulations, which were improved when it was integrated with the user soil. Based on selected rainfall events, the watershed response time was less than 1 h, which suggests that the watershed has a quick runoff response time. This paper showed that streamflow and sediment yield simulation performances of freely available global soil datasets can be improved through integration with locally measured soil information. This study demonstrated that the availability of local soil information is critical for daily hydrologic model simulations, which is critical for planning effective soil and water management practices at plot and field scales. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil hydrology; hydrological processes; global soil datasets; soil data integration; AfSIS; FAO soil hydrology; hydrological processes; global soil datasets; soil data integration; AfSIS; FAO
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Bayabil, H.K.; Dile, Y.T. Improving Hydrologic Simulations of a Small Watershed through Soil Data Integration. Water 2020, 12, 2763.

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