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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Watershed Delineation and Climate Datasets Density on Runoff Predictions for the Upper Mississippi River Basin Using SWAT within HAWQS

1
State Key Laboratory of Water Resources and Hydropower Engineering Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
2
Center for Agricultural and Rural Development, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1054, USA
3
Spatial Sciences Laboratory, Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-2120, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Douglas A. Burns
Water 2021, 13(4), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040422
Received: 7 January 2021 / Revised: 31 January 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 5 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology and Hydrogeology)
The quality of input data and the process of watershed delineation can affect the accuracy of runoff predictions in watershed modeling. The Upper Mississippi River Basin was selected to evaluate the effects of subbasin and/or hydrologic response unit (HRU) delineations and the density of climate dataset on the simulated streamflow and water balance components using the Hydrologic and Water Quality System (HAWQS) platform. Five scenarios were examined with the same parameter set, including 8- and 12-digit hydrologic unit codes, two levels of HRU thresholds and two climate data densities. Results showed that statistic evaluations of monthly streamflow from 1983 to 2005 were satisfactory at some gauge sites but were relatively worse at others when shifting from 8-digit to 12-digit subbasins, revealing that the hydrologic response to delineation schemes can vary across a large basin. Average channel slope and drainage density increased significantly from 8-digit to 12-digit subbasins. This resulted in higher lateral flow and groundwater flow estimates, especially for the lateral flow. Moreover, a finer HRU delineation tends to generate more runoff because it captures a refined level of watershed spatial variability. The analysis of climate datasets revealed that denser climate data produced higher predicted runoff, especially for summer months. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; watershed delineation; climate data; UMRB; HAWQS; runoff prediction; water components SWAT; watershed delineation; climate data; UMRB; HAWQS; runoff prediction; water components
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MDPI and ACS Style

Chen, M.; Cui, Y.; Gassman, P.W.; Srinivasan, R. Effect of Watershed Delineation and Climate Datasets Density on Runoff Predictions for the Upper Mississippi River Basin Using SWAT within HAWQS. Water 2021, 13, 422. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040422

AMA Style

Chen M, Cui Y, Gassman PW, Srinivasan R. Effect of Watershed Delineation and Climate Datasets Density on Runoff Predictions for the Upper Mississippi River Basin Using SWAT within HAWQS. Water. 2021; 13(4):422. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040422

Chicago/Turabian Style

Chen, Manyu; Cui, Yuanlai; Gassman, Philip W.; Srinivasan, Raghavan. 2021. "Effect of Watershed Delineation and Climate Datasets Density on Runoff Predictions for the Upper Mississippi River Basin Using SWAT within HAWQS" Water 13, no. 4: 422. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13040422

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