Assessment of Different Modelling Studies on the Spatial Hydrological Processes in an Arid Alpine Catchment (2016)

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To assess the model description of spatial hydrological processes in the arid alpine catchment, SWAT and MIKE SHE were jointly applied in Yarkant River basin located in northwest China. Not only the simulated daily discharges at the outlet station but also spatiotemporal distributions of runoff, snowmelt and evapotranspiration were analyzed contrastively regarding modules™ structure and algorithm. The simulation results suggested both models have their own strengths for particular hydrological processes. For the stream runoff simulation, the significant contributions of lateral interflow flow were only reflected in SWAT with a proportion of 41.4 %, while MIKE SHE simulated a more realistic distribution of base flow from groundwater with a proportion of 21.3 %. In snowmelt calculation, SWAT takes account of more available factors and got better correlations between snowmelt and runoff in temporal distribution, however, MIKE SHE presented clearer spatial distribution of snowpack because of fully distributed structure. In the aspect of water balance, less water was evaporated because of limitation of soil evaporation and less spatially distributed approach in SWAT, on another hand, the spatial distribution of actual evapotranspiration (ETa) in MIKE SHE clearly expressed influence of land use. Whether SWAT or MIKE SHE, without multiple calibrations, the model™s limitation might bring in some biased opinions of hydrological processes in a catchment scale. The complementary study of combined results from multiple models could have a better understanding of overall hydrological processes in arid and scarce gauges alpine region.
Year: 2016
Language: English
In: Water Resources Management, 30 (5): 1757-1770 p.

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 Record created 2016-03-02, last modified 2016-03-02