SWAT Literature Database for Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Title:Hydrologic and water quality models: Sensitivity 
Authors:Yuan, Y., Y. Khare, X. Wang, P.B. Parajuli, I. Kisekka and S. Finsterle 
Journal:Transactions of the ASABE 
Article ID: 
URL (non-DOI journals): 
Broad Application Category:review/history 
Primary Application Category:sensitivity analysis 
Secondary Application Category:model comparison 
Watershed Description:None 
Calibration Summary: 
Validation Summary: 
General Comments:This study is part of a set of 10 articles published as a special issue in Transactions ASABE, issue 58(6). The overall special issue is focused on a broad range of ecohydrological model calibration and validation topics. The articles are not necessarily focused on SWAT but the topics are extremely relevant for the SWAT user community so all 10 articles have been included in the SWAT Literature Database. 
Abstract:This article is part of a collection of articles that provides a comprehensive description of hydrologic and water quality (H/WQ) model calibration and validation concepts and processes. Sensitivity analysis (SA), which is often used to quantify the strength of relationships between model inputs and outputs, is an essential evaluation of any kind of modeling. SA is crucial in H/WQ models due to various aspects involved in H/WQ modeling processes, such as empiricism, spatiotemporal scales, and complexity, that require an assessment of parameters’ influence on the model’s prediction. This study synthesized SA applications for 25 H/WQ models in the special collection on model use, calibration, and validation published in 2012 and provides guidance on their future applications. Commonly used SA methods are summarized along with tools to implement them. While SA was not employed for all 25 models in the special collection, a wide range of SA methods (from partial derivatives to variance-based global methods) and sensitivity measures (from scatter plots to variance decomposition measures) were used in the literature. Some model parameters were found to be important in most sensitivity applications performed for the models; however, their relative importance varied from study to study, underscoring the necessity of SA for every new model application. Nevertheless, summarizing important model parameters can still serve as a starting point for model users. Since most studies concentrated on model parameters alone; future SA applications in H/WQ modeling should also consider other inputs (climate data, boundary conditions, etc.) and non-parametric aspects, such as features and processes considered in the model. 
Keywords:Hydrologic and water quality modeling, One-at-a-time, Parameters, Sensitivity analysis, Sensitivity measures, Sensitivity methods.