Hydrologic Response Unit Routing in SWAT to Simulate Effects of Vegetated Filter Strip for South-Korean Conditions Based on VFSMOD
The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model has been used worldwide for many hydrologic and Non-Point Source (NPS) Pollution analyses on a watershed scale. However, it has many limitations in simulating the Vegetative Filter Strip (VFS) because it considers only ‘filter strip width’ when the model estimates sediment trapping efficiency and does not consider the routing of sediment with overland flow which is expected to maximize the sediment trapping efficiency from upper agricultural subwatersheds to lower spatially-explicit filter strips. Therefore, the SWAT overland flow option between landuse-subwatersheds with sediment routing capability was enhanced by modifying the SWAT watershed configuration and SWAT engine based on the numerical model VFSMOD applied to South-Korean conditions. The enhanced SWAT can simulate the VFS sediment trapping efficiency for South-Korean conditions in a manner similar to the desktop VFSMOD-w system. Due to this enhancement, SWAT is applicable to simulate the effects of overland flow from upper subwatersheds to reflect increased runoff volume at the lower subwatershed, which occurs in the field if no diversion channel is installed. In this study, the enhanced SWAT model was applied to small watersheds located at Jaun-ri in South-Korea to simulate a diversion channel and spatially-explicit VFS. Sediment can be reduced by 31%, 65%, and 68%, with a diversion channel, the VFS, and the VFS with diversion channel, respectively. The enhanced SWAT should be used in estimating site-specific effects on sediment reduction with diversion channels and VFS, instead of the currently available SWAT, which does not simulate sediment routing in overland flow and does not consider other sensitive factors affecting sediment reduction with VFS.