This paper presents a study of the integration of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model and the TOPographic MODEL (TOPMODEL) features for enhancing the physical representation of hydrologic processes. In SWAT, four hydrologic processes, which are surface runoff, baseflow, groundwater re-evaporation and deep aquifer percolation, are modeled by using a group of empirical equations. The empirical equations usually constrain the simulation capability of relevant processes. To replace these equations and to model the influences of topography and water table variation on streamflow generation, the TOPMODEL features are integrated into SWAT, and a new model, the so-called SWAT-TOP, is developed. In the new model, the process of deep aquifer percolation is removed, the concept of groundwater re-evaporation is refined, and the processes of surface runoff and baseflow are remodeled. Consequently, three parameters in SWAT are discarded, and two new parameters to reflect the TOPMODEL features are introduced. SWAT-TOP and SWAT are applied to the East River basin in South China, and the results reveal that, compared with SWAT, the new model can provide a more reasonable simulation of the hydrologic processes of surface runoff, groundwater re-evaporation, and baseflow. This study evidences that an established hydrologic model can be further improved by integrating the features of another model, which is a possible way to enhance our understanding of the workings of catchments.
Additional publication details
Advancing representation of hydrologic processes in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) through integration of the TOPographic MODEL (TOPMODEL) features
Journal of Hydrology
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center