Preprint Technical Note Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Flood Routing with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool: A Review and Verification

Version 1 : Received: 10 September 2018 / Approved: 10 September 2018 / Online: 10 September 2018 (14:46:35 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Nguyen, V.T.; Dietrich, J.; Uniyal, B.; Tran, D.A. Verification and Correction of the Hydrologic Routing in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Water 2018, 10, 1419. Nguyen, V.T.; Dietrich, J.; Uniyal, B.; Tran, D.A. Verification and Correction of the Hydrologic Routing in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool. Water 2018, 10, 1419.

Journal reference: Water 2018, 10, 1419
DOI: 10.3390/w10101419

Abstract

The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is one of the most widely used hydrologic models. SWAT has been undergoing constant changes since its development. However, compartment review and testing of SWAT are comparably limited, especially the flood routing functions. In this study, the daily flood routing subroutines of different SWAT versions were reviewed and tested using a well observed segment of the Weser river located in Germany. Results show several problems with the flood routing subroutines of SWAT. The variable storage subroutine of SWAT (revision 664) does not transform the flood wave. Unphysical results could be obtained with the variable storage routing of SWAT (revision 528). The Muskingum subroutine of SWAT (revisions 664 and 528) overestimates channel evaporation (resulting in a bias of 14\% to 19% in streamflow) and underestimates transmission losses. Simulated results show that the timing and shape of the flood wave could be improved with a corrected Muskingum subroutine. Based on the results of this study, we suggest the SWAT user community to review their existing SWAT models to see how the aforementioned issues will affect their methods, findings and conclusions.

Subject Areas

SWAT; flood routing; Muskingum; variable storage

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