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Discharge simulation of the Xiangxi River, Three Gorges dam region, China, using PCRaster and SIMPEL models: SWAT comparison and parameterisation

2011Discharge simulation of the Xiangxi River, Three Gorges dam region, China, using PCRaster and SIMPEL models: SWAT comparison and parameterization.RUIZ ALBIZURI José Ricardo (Mexico)ricardoelbiologo@hotmail.com
Organisation:Christian Albrechts University, Kiel (DE)Supervisor :
Summary: The Three Gorges Dam Project (TGP), located in the mid-section of China’s Yangtze River, is the world’s largest hydroelectric project. TGP induced a large scale land use change in the adjacent catchments and greatly modified the river discharge. Hydrological models are useful and increasingly applied tools worldwide to help management decisions. Using both, an environmental modelling software (PCRaster) and a simple spreadsheet model (SIMPEL), we simulated the discharge of the Xiangxi River catchment on the Three Gorges Dam region. These models are simple yet they incorporate important factors such as land use, soil type and catchment topography. The results of these models will be compared with the simulated discharge obtained with a more complex model, the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) to assess the different models performance. Some examples of the discharge simulation of the different model types will be presented and their differences discussed. Simulations carried out with these simple models will serve to parameterise SWAT by identifying the important processes determining the discharge of this catchment. This is essential because, due to the high complexity of some hydrological models, it is difficult to identify the correct combination of parameters for the catchment under study. This work will serve as one of the firsts steps on the simulation of Xiangxi River current status to address the influence that the Three Gorges Dam and land use change have on its catchment.
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