A salinity module for SWAT to simulate salt ion fate and transport at the watershed scale

Bailey, Ryan T.; Tavakoli-Kivi, Saman; Wei, Xiaolu

Salinity is one of the most common water quality threats in river basins and irrigated regions worldwide. However, no available numerical models simulate all major processes affecting salt ion fate and transport at the watershed scale. This study presents a new salinity module for the SWAT model that simulates the fate and transport of eight major salt ions (SO42-, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, K+, Cl, CO32-, HCO3-) in a watershed system. The module accounts for salt transport in surface runoff, soil percolation, lateral flow, groundwater, and streams, and equilibrium chemistry reactions in soil layers and the aquifer. The module consists of several new subroutines that are imbedded within the SWAT modelling code and one input file containing soil salinity and aquifer salinity data for the watershed. The model is applied to a 732 km2 salinity-impaired irrigated region within the Arkansas River Valley in southeastern Colorado and tested against root zone soil salinity, groundwater salt ion concentration, groundwater salt loadings to the river network, and in-stream salt ion concentration. The model can be a useful tool in simulating baseline salinity transport and investigating salinity best management practices in watersheds of varying spatial scales.

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Bailey, Ryan T. / Tavakoli-Kivi, Saman / Wei, Xiaolu: A salinity module for SWAT to simulate salt ion fate and transport at the watershed scale. 2019. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Ryan T. Bailey et al.

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