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Breaking walls towards fully open source hydrological modeling

George, Chris
Published in Water Resources. 2017, vol. 44, no. 1, p. 23-30
Abstract Hydrological models are powerful mathematical tools to address environmental problems and are often used for watershed management and planning. Hydrological models are data driven and the lack of data availability often limits model development. In this paper, we address several challenges in building and run- ning a hydrological model for streamflow simulations based solely on freely available data and open source software. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological modeling software has been used in the Map Window Geographic Information System (GIS). All spatial and non-spatial data used in this study were obtained from various free of charge online sources. Model calibration and validation represent major chal- lenges following the initial model construction since they involve several trial and error processes to reach acceptable model performances. These critical steps were programmed here as automated scripts in the R open source statistical package. The challenges of model building are described step by step through video tutorials. Using a case study in the Mendoza watershed in Argentina, we show that simulated streamflow exhibits sound agreement with the observed streamflow considering daily time steps (NSE = 0.69, R2 = 0.72 and Percent bias = +9%). The workf low demonstrated in this study can be applied for other watersheds, espe- cially in data-sparse regions that may lack key regional or local data sets.
Keywords SWAT modelOpen source softwareFree dataHydrology
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Research groups Envirospace Lab
Global Resource Information Database (GRID)
ISE Pôle Informatique environnementale
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RAHMAN, Kazi et al. Breaking walls towards fully open source hydrological modeling. In: Water Resources, 2017, vol. 44, n° 1, p. 23-30. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:91889

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Deposited on : 2017-02-16

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