Modeling Surface Runoff and Evapotranspiration using SWAT and BEACH for a Tropical Watershed in North Vietnam, Compared to MODIS Products

Hong Quang Nguyen, Martin Kappas


Accurate estimation of surface runoff (Q) and evapotranspiration (ET) is a challenging task but an important research topic because both Q and ET play vital roles in the study of the hydrological cycle, of climate change, water resources, flood management and so on. In this paper we will present the modeling method to estimate the daily Q and ET for a medium-sized watershed in the tropical region of the North of Vietnam using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and Bridging Event and Continuous Hydrological (BEACH) models. The models were calibrated and validated for the river discharge for SWAT and evaporation (E) for BEACH in a 12 year period from 2001 to 2012. The simulated ETs by the models were compared with the satellite-based ET of MODIS products. Our simulation results show that the SWAT and BEACH models are capable of satisfactorily reproducing (with the NSE > 0.62 and R2 > 0.78) the stream-gauged river discharge and the observed E, respectively. Daily ET varied from 0.3 to 14 mm day-1 and was highest from May to August and lowest from December to March. Although the monthly and yearly MODIS ETs were slightly higher than those of SWAT and BEACH, a strong relationship between them was found with a standard deviation ranging from three to 40 mm. A light decrease of ET values in the 12 years can be seen in the result analyses; however a longer simulation time might be needed to ensure this trend.


Modeling Surface Runoff and Evapotranspiration; Nam Kim Watershed; Remote Sensing; GIS

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