SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Rationalization of altitudinal precipitation profiles in a data-scarce glacierized watershed simulation in the Karakoram 
Authors:Wang, X., L. Sun, Y. Zhang and Y. Luo 
Volume (Issue):
Article ID:186 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Model:SWAT (modified) 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:climate data effects 
Secondary Application Category:snowmelt, frozen soil and/or glacier melt processes 
Watershed Description:359.09 km^2 Yarkant River, located in western China 
Calibration Summary: 
Validation Summary: 
General Comments: 
Abstract:Due to the scarcity of field observations and geodetic measurements in catchments in the Karakoram Mountains in Western China, obtaining precipitation data for the high mountains involves large uncertainties and difficulties. In this study, we used a functional relationship between the annual glacier accumulation and summer temperature at the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) to derive precipitation lapse rates (PLAPSs) in a data-scarce watershed. These data were used in a modified Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model with a glacier module to simulate glacio-hydrological processes in the Yarkant River basin in the Karakoram. The PLAPS based on the widely-used grid datasets considerably underestimated precipitation, yielding an unreasonable watershed water balance and inaccurate glacier changes. However, the ELA-based PLAPS improved the simulation significantly. In the Yarkant River basin, the annual precipitation reached a peak of 800–1000 mm at approximately 5300 m a.s.l. The model simulations indicated that the contributions of glacier melt and ice melt to total runoff were 52% and 31%, respectively. Moreover, a significant precipitation increase and a non-significant temperature increase during the melt season may be the major reasons for the decreased ice melt and slower glacier shrinkage on the northern slope of the Karakoram during the period of 1968–2007. 
Keywords:precipitation lapse rates; high-elevation precipitation; ELA; SWAT; Karakoram