Energy balance-based SWAT model to simulate the mountain snowmelt and runoff — taking the application in Juntanghu watershed (China) as an example

Xian Yong Meng, Danlin Yu, Zhi Hui Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In order to predict long-term flooding under extreme weather conditions in central Asia, an energy balance-based distributed snowmelt runoff model was developed and coupled with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The model was tested at the Juntanghu watershed on the northern slope of the TianShan Mountains, Xinjiang, China. We compared the performances of temperature-index method and energy balanced method in SWAT model by taking Juntanghu river basin as an application example (as the simulation experiment was conducted in Juntanghu River, we call the energy balanced method as SWAT-JTH). The results suggest that the SWAT snowmelt model had overall Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.85 while the physical based approach had NSE coefficients ranging from 0.58 to 0.69. Overall, on monthly scale, the SWAT model provides better results than that from the SWAT-JTH model. However, results generated from both methods seem to be fairly close at a daily scale. The structure of the temperature-index method is simple and produces reasonable simulation results if the parameters are well within empirical ranges. Although the data requirement for the energy balance method in current observation is difficult to meet and the existence of uncertainty is associated with the experimental approaches of physical processes, the SWAT-JTH model still produced a reasonably high NSE. We conclude that using temperature-index methods to simulate the snowmelt process is sufficient, but the energy balance-based model is still a good choice to simulate extreme weather conditions especially when the required data input for the model is acquired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-381
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Mountain Science
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015

Fingerprint

snowmelt
energy balance
watershed
runoff
energy
water
China
mountain
index method
efficiency
river
soil and water assessment tool
simulation
temperature
Central Asia
flooding
river basin
uncertainty
method
experiment

Keywords

  • Energy balance
  • SWAT
  • Snowmelt model
  • Temperature-index
  • The physical process
  • Water balance

Cite this

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title = "Energy balance-based SWAT model to simulate the mountain snowmelt and runoff — taking the application in Juntanghu watershed (China) as an example",
abstract = "In order to predict long-term flooding under extreme weather conditions in central Asia, an energy balance-based distributed snowmelt runoff model was developed and coupled with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The model was tested at the Juntanghu watershed on the northern slope of the TianShan Mountains, Xinjiang, China. We compared the performances of temperature-index method and energy balanced method in SWAT model by taking Juntanghu river basin as an application example (as the simulation experiment was conducted in Juntanghu River, we call the energy balanced method as SWAT-JTH). The results suggest that the SWAT snowmelt model had overall Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.85 while the physical based approach had NSE coefficients ranging from 0.58 to 0.69. Overall, on monthly scale, the SWAT model provides better results than that from the SWAT-JTH model. However, results generated from both methods seem to be fairly close at a daily scale. The structure of the temperature-index method is simple and produces reasonable simulation results if the parameters are well within empirical ranges. Although the data requirement for the energy balance method in current observation is difficult to meet and the existence of uncertainty is associated with the experimental approaches of physical processes, the SWAT-JTH model still produced a reasonably high NSE. We conclude that using temperature-index methods to simulate the snowmelt process is sufficient, but the energy balance-based model is still a good choice to simulate extreme weather conditions especially when the required data input for the model is acquired.",
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Energy balance-based SWAT model to simulate the mountain snowmelt and runoff — taking the application in Juntanghu watershed (China) as an example. / Meng, Xian Yong; Yu, Danlin; Liu, Zhi Hui.

In: Journal of Mountain Science, Vol. 12, No. 2, 01.03.2015, p. 368-381.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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N2 - In order to predict long-term flooding under extreme weather conditions in central Asia, an energy balance-based distributed snowmelt runoff model was developed and coupled with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The model was tested at the Juntanghu watershed on the northern slope of the TianShan Mountains, Xinjiang, China. We compared the performances of temperature-index method and energy balanced method in SWAT model by taking Juntanghu river basin as an application example (as the simulation experiment was conducted in Juntanghu River, we call the energy balanced method as SWAT-JTH). The results suggest that the SWAT snowmelt model had overall Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.85 while the physical based approach had NSE coefficients ranging from 0.58 to 0.69. Overall, on monthly scale, the SWAT model provides better results than that from the SWAT-JTH model. However, results generated from both methods seem to be fairly close at a daily scale. The structure of the temperature-index method is simple and produces reasonable simulation results if the parameters are well within empirical ranges. Although the data requirement for the energy balance method in current observation is difficult to meet and the existence of uncertainty is associated with the experimental approaches of physical processes, the SWAT-JTH model still produced a reasonably high NSE. We conclude that using temperature-index methods to simulate the snowmelt process is sufficient, but the energy balance-based model is still a good choice to simulate extreme weather conditions especially when the required data input for the model is acquired.

AB - In order to predict long-term flooding under extreme weather conditions in central Asia, an energy balance-based distributed snowmelt runoff model was developed and coupled with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. The model was tested at the Juntanghu watershed on the northern slope of the TianShan Mountains, Xinjiang, China. We compared the performances of temperature-index method and energy balanced method in SWAT model by taking Juntanghu river basin as an application example (as the simulation experiment was conducted in Juntanghu River, we call the energy balanced method as SWAT-JTH). The results suggest that the SWAT snowmelt model had overall Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficients ranging from 0.61 to 0.85 while the physical based approach had NSE coefficients ranging from 0.58 to 0.69. Overall, on monthly scale, the SWAT model provides better results than that from the SWAT-JTH model. However, results generated from both methods seem to be fairly close at a daily scale. The structure of the temperature-index method is simple and produces reasonable simulation results if the parameters are well within empirical ranges. Although the data requirement for the energy balance method in current observation is difficult to meet and the existence of uncertainty is associated with the experimental approaches of physical processes, the SWAT-JTH model still produced a reasonably high NSE. We conclude that using temperature-index methods to simulate the snowmelt process is sufficient, but the energy balance-based model is still a good choice to simulate extreme weather conditions especially when the required data input for the model is acquired.

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