SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Runoff and sediment yield variations in response to precipitation changes: A case study of Xichuan Watershed in the Loess Plateau, China 
Authors:Li, T. and Y. Gao 
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Broad Application Category:hydrologic and pollutant 
Primary Application Category:climate data effects 
Secondary Application Category:sediment loss and transport 
Watershed Description:801 km^2 Xichuan River, a tributary of the Yanhe River located in north central China. 
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Abstract:The impacts of climate change on hydrological cycles and water resource distribution is particularly concerned with environmentally vulnerable areas, such as the Loess Plateau, where precipitation scarcity leads to or intensifies serious water related problems including water resource shortages, land degradation, and serious soil erosion. Based on a geographical information system (GIS), and using gauged hydrological data from 2001 to 2010, digital land-use and soil maps from 2005, a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was applied to the Xichuan Watershed, a typical hilly-gullied area in the Loess Plateau, China. The relative error, coefficient of determination, and Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient were used to analyze the accuracy of runoffs and sediment yields simulated by the model. Runoff and sediment yield variations were analyzed under different precipitation scenarios. The increases in runoff and sediment with increased precipitation were greater than their decreases with reduced precipitation, and runoff was more sensitive to the variations of precipitation than was sediment yield. The coefficients of variation (CVs) of the runoff and sediment yield increased with increasing precipitation, and the CV of the sediment yield was more sensitive to small rainfall. The annual runoff and sediment yield fluctuated greatly, and their variation ranges and CVs were large when precipitation increased by 20%. The results provide local decision makers with scientific references for water resource utilization and soil and water conservation. 
Keywords:SWAT model; precipitation; runoff; sediment yield; simulation; the Xichuan River; the Loess Plateau