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Water 2017, 9(2), 76;

Assessment of Optional Sediment Transport Functions via the Complex Watershed Simulation Model SWAT

Blackland Research and Extension Center, Texas A&M University, 720 East Blackland Road, Temple, TX 76502, USA
Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Vejlsøvej 27, 8600 Silkeborg, Denmark
Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Purdue University, Hovde Hall, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA
Integrated Environmental Modeling Branch, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc., 6306 N Alpine Rd, Loves Park, IL 61111, USA
Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742, USA
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Incheon National University, 119 Academy-ro, Yeonsu-gu, Incheon 22012, Korea
Department of Water Resources Engineering and Conservation, Feng Chia University, Taichung City 40724, Taiwan
Grassland, Soil & Water Research Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, 808 East Blackland Road, Temple, TX 76502, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marco Franchini
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 13 January 2017 / Accepted: 18 January 2017 / Published: 29 January 2017
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The Soil and Water Assessment Tool 2012 (SWAT2012) offers four sediment routing methods as optional alternatives to the default simplified Bagnold method. Previous studies compared only one of these alternative sediment routing methods with the default method. The proposed study evaluated the impacts of all four alternative sediment transport methods on sediment predictions: the modified Bagnold equation, the Kodoatie equation, the Molinas and Wu equation, and the Yang equation. The Arroyo Colorado Watershed, Texas, USA, was first calibrated for daily flow. The sediment parameters were then calibrated to monthly sediment loads, using each of the four sediment routing equations. An automatic calibration tool—Integrated Parameter Estimation and Uncertainty Analysis Tool (IPEAT)—was used to fit model parameters. The four sediment routing equations yielded substantially different sediment sources and sinks. The Yang equation performed best, followed by Kodoatie, Bagnold, and Molinas and Wu equations, according to greater model goodness-of-fit (represented by higher Nash–Sutcliffe Efficiency coefficient and percent bias closer to 0) as well as lower model uncertainty (represented by inclusion of observed data within 95% confidence interval). Since the default method (Bagnold) does not guarantee the best results, modelers should carefully evaluate the selection of alternative methods before conducting relevant studies or engineering projects. View Full-Text
Keywords: sediment transport; model calibration; SWAT; uncertainty analysis; IPEAT sediment transport; model calibration; SWAT; uncertainty analysis; IPEAT

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Yen, H.; Lu, S.; Feng, Q.; Wang, R.; Gao, J.; Brady, D.M.; Sharifi, A.; Ahn, J.; Chen, S.-T.; Jeong, J.; White, M.J.; Arnold, J.G. Assessment of Optional Sediment Transport Functions via the Complex Watershed Simulation Model SWAT. Water 2017, 9, 76.

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