Preprint Article Version 1 NOT YET PEER-REVIEWED

Hydrological Modeling of Highly Glacierized Basins (Andes, Alps, and Central Asia)

Version 1 : Received: 26 January 2017 / Approved: 26 January 2017 / Online: 26 January 2017 (08:07:51 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Omani, N.; Srinivasan, R.; Karthikeyan, R.; Smith, P.K. Hydrological Modeling of Highly Glacierized Basins (Andes, Alps, and Central Asia). Water 2017, 9, 111. Omani, N.; Srinivasan, R.; Karthikeyan, R.; Smith, P.K. Hydrological Modeling of Highly Glacierized Basins (Andes, Alps, and Central Asia). Water 2017, 9, 111.

Journal reference: Water 2017, 9, 111
DOI: 10.3390/w9020111

Abstract

Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was used to simulate five glacierized river basins that are global in coverage and vary in climate. The river basins included the Narayani (Nepal), Vakhsh (Central Asia), Rhone (Switzerland), Mendoza (Central Andes, Argentina), and Central Dry Andes (Chile) with a total area of 85,000 km2. A modified SWAT snow algorithm was applied in order to consider spatial variation of associated snow melt /accumulation by elevation band across each subbasin. In the previous studies, melt rates varied as a function of elevation resulting from an air temperature gradient while the snow parameters were constant throughout the entire basin. A major improvement of the new snow algorithm is separating the glaciers from seasonal snow based on their characteristics. Two SWAT snow algorithms were evaluated in simulation of monthly runoff from glaciered watershed: 1) the snow parameters are lumped (i.e. constant throughout the entire basin) and 2) the snow parameters are spatially variable based on elevation band-subbasin (i.e. modified snow algorithm). Applying the distributed SWAT snow algorithm improved the model performance in simulation of monthly runoff with snow-glacial regime, so that mean RSR decreased to 0.49 from 0.55 and NSE increased to 0.75 from 0.69. Improvement of model performance was negligible in simulation of monthly runoff from the basins with monsoon runoff regime.

Subject Areas

SWAT; glacier; snow; modeling; watershed

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