SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Assessing climate change impacts on streamflow, sediment and nutrient loadings of the Minija River (Lithuania): A hillslope watershed discretization application with high-resolution spatial inputs 
Authors:Čerkasova, N., G. Umgiesser and A. Ertürk 
Volume (Issue):11(4) 
Article ID: 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic and pollutant 
Primary Application Category:climate change 
Secondary Application Category:multi-site calibration or testing approach 
Watershed Description:3097.04 km^2 Minija River, with a length of 201.8 km and annual average discharge of 38.7 m^3/s, which is part of the Curonian Lagoon drainage basin in the coastal region of western Lithuania. 
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Abstract:In this paper we focus on the model setup scheme for medium-size watershed with high resolution, multi-site calibration, and present results on the possible changes of the Minija River in flow, sediment load, total nitrogen (TN), and total phosphorus (TP) load in the near-term (up to 2050) and long-term (up to 2099) in the light of climate change (RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5 scenarios) under business-as-usual conditions. The SWAT model for the Minija River basin was setup by using the developed Matlab (SWAT-LAB) scripts for a highly customized watershed configuration that addresses the specific needs of the project objective. We performed the watershed delineation by combining sub-basin and hillslope discretization schemes. We defined the HRUs by aggregating the topographic, land use, soil, and administrative unit features of the area. A multisite manual calibration approach was adopted to calibrate and validate the model, achieving good to satisfactory results across different sub-basins of the area for flow, sediments and nutrient loads (TP and TN). After completing the climate change scenario calculations, we found that a net decrease of flow (up to 35%), TN (up to 34%), and TP (up to 50%) loads are projected under both scenarios. Furthermore, we explored the changes in the streamflow composition and provide new insight on the reason of projected nutrient load decrease. 
Keywords:hillslope discretization, SWAT model, water quality, Minija River watershed, climate change