A comparison of WEPP and SWAT for modeling soil erosion of the Zhangjiachong Watershed in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area
Soil and water conservation is important for the Three Gorges Reservoir Area in China, and quantification of soil loss is a significant issue. In this study, two widely used models – the Water Erosion Prediction Project (WEPP) and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) – were applied to simulate runoff and sediment yield for the Zhangjiachong Watershed in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area. The models were run and the simulated runoff and sediment yield values were compared with the measured runoff and sediment yield values. In the calibration period, the model efficiency (ENS) values for the WEPP and SWAT were 0.864 and 0.711 for runoff, and 0.847 and 0.678 for sediment yield, respectively. In the validation period, the ENS values for WEPP and SWAT were 0.835 and 0.690 for runoff, and 0.828 and 0.818 for sediment yield, respectively. The results of ENS and the other criteria indicate that the results of both models were acceptable. WEPP simulations were better than SWAT in most cases, and could be used with a reasonable confidence for soil loss quantification in the Zhangjiachong Watershed.