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Open AccessArticle

An Alternative Empirical Model to Estimate Watershed Sediment Yield Based on Hydrology and Geomorphology of the Basin in Data-Scarce Rift Valley Lake Regions, Ethiopia

1
Department of Hydraulic and Water Resource Engineering, Hawasa University Institute of Technology (HUIoT), Hawassa 05, Ethiopia
2
Department of Earth and Environment, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
3
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT), Addis Ababa 1000, Ethiopia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10010031
Received: 6 April 2019 / Revised: 29 July 2019 / Accepted: 31 July 2019 / Published: 15 January 2020
Physical-based soil erosion models are playing an important role in the assessment of soil erosion, transportation, and deposition in the watershed. Most of these models were developed for data-rich areas of the world and they need a measured data to calibrate and validate their results. To apply such physical-based models, the main factor hindering is the lack of measured sediment data. The amount of sediment in the fluvial systems is the result of hydro-geomorphological processes of a watershed and the nature of stream flows. Therefore, this study aims to develop an alternative empirical model that generates the observed sediment data based on the hydro-geomorphology and nature of stream flows for Ziway Lake basin in the rift Valley of Ethiopia. By applying Soil and water Assessment Tool (SWAT), the lake basin was divided in to two sub-basins (Maki and Katar) with 26 of the watersheds within Maki. The SWAT model was calibrated and validated for both stream and sediment flow by using SUFI-2 program and its performance was assessed by using model evaluation statistics. With calibrated sediment flow rates of 26 Maki sub basins, an empirical model was developed by using its respective drainage area, average sub-basins slope, surface runoff, soil erodibility factor, stream flow rate, and average rive slopes. The applicability of the newly developed alternative model was tested by using model evaluation statistics and validated inside of Katar sub-basin. It is recommended to test the developed model in other basins to incorporate with SWAT CUP program to calibrate and validate the sediment yield at data scared area. View Full-Text
Keywords: SWAT; hydro-geomorphology; alternative empirical model; Lake Ziway SWAT; hydro-geomorphology; alternative empirical model; Lake Ziway
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Aga, A.O.; Melesse, A.M.; Chane, B. An Alternative Empirical Model to Estimate Watershed Sediment Yield Based on Hydrology and Geomorphology of the Basin in Data-Scarce Rift Valley Lake Regions, Ethiopia. Geosciences 2020, 10, 31.

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