SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:The importance of high resolution digital elevation models for improved hydrological simulations of a Mediterranean forested catchment 
Authors:Rocha, J., A. Duarte, M. Silva, S. Fabres, J. Vasques, B. Revilla-Romero and A. Quintela 
Journal:Remote Sensing 
Volume (Issue):12(20) 
Article ID:3287 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:hydrologic only 
Primary Application Category:DEM data resolution effects 
Secondary Application Category:hydrologic assessment 
Watershed Description:2.67 km^2 Caniceira River, a tributary of the Alcolobre River (and larger Tagus River) located in the Alentejo Region in Portugal. 
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General Comments: 
Abstract:Eco-hydrological models can be used to support effective land management and planning of forest resources. These models require a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), in order to accurately represent the morphological surface and to simulate catchment responses. This is particularly relevant on low altimetry catchments, where a high resolution DEM can result in a more accurate representation of terrain morphology (e.g., slope, flow direction), and therefore a better prediction of hydrological responses. This work intended to use Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess the influence of DEM resolutions (1 m, 10 m and 30 m) on the accuracy of catchment representations and hydrological responses on a low relief forest catchment with a dry and hot summer Mediterranean climate. The catchment responses were simulated using independent SWAT models built up using three DEMs. These resolutions resulted in marked differences regarding the total number of channels, their length as well as the hierarchy. Model performance was increasingly improved using fine resolutions DEM, revealing a bR2 (0.87, 0.85 and 0.85), NSE (0.84, 0.67 and 0.60) and Pbias (−14.1, −27.0 and −38.7), respectively, for 1 m, 10 m and 30 m resolutions. This translates into a better timing of the flow, improved volume simulation and significantly less underestimation of the flow. 
Keywords:forested catchment, forestry, hydrological modeling, SWAT model, DEM