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Darius Semmens**, Scott N. Miller, David Goodrich, Ryan Miller, Mariano Hernandez
USDA Agricultural Research Service Southwest Watershed Research Center Tucson, AZ (current address for Daruis: EPA, Las Vegas semmens.darius@epa.gov)

Bill Kepner, Don Ebert

US EPA Landscape Ecology Branch Las Vegas, NV

Project Background & Acknowledgements

Long-Term Research Project
Landscape Ecology Branch 4 years

Watershed management Landscape ecology Atmospheric modeling Remote sensing GIS USDA ARS US EPA USGS Universities of Arizona & Wyoming US Army NWS 2 Post-Doc 2 Ph.D. 1 Masters 2 Full time


Primary Support

USDA-ARS David Goodrich Mariano Hernandez Averill Cate Shea Burns Casey Tifft Soren Scott Lainie Levick US-EPA Bill Kepner Darius Semmens Dan Heggem Bruce Jones Don Ebert University of Arizona Phil Guertin University of Wyoming Scott Miller

PC-based GIS tool for watershed modeling KINEROS & SWAT (modular) Investigate the impacts of land cover change on runoff, erosion, water quality Targeted for use by research scientists, management specialists technology transfer widely applicable

Objectives of the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool

Used with US-EPA Analytical Tool Interface for Landscape Assessment (ATtILA) Simple, direct method for model parameterization Provide accurate, repeatable results Require basic, attainable GIS data 30m USGS DEM (free, US coverage) STATSGO soil data (free, US coverage) US-EPA NALC & MRLC landscape data (regional & free w/ US coverage) Useful for scenario development, alternative futures simulation work.

Modeling the Impacts of Land Cover Change

Impacts of scale addressed using 2 models (KINEROS & SWAT) Temporal & spatial effects Focus on relative change to reduce confounding effects of changing rainfall Interested in both volume and rate of runoff Water supply & water quality Applicable across range of landscape, precipitation regimes Semi-arid San Pedro Humid Catskills

After Omernick

Hydrology and Human Activities

Range of characteristic space time scales

Large WS Models (e.g. SWAT)

Small WS Models (e.g. KINEROS2)

Soil Water and Assessment Tool (SWAT)

Daily time step Distributed: empirical and physically-based model Hydrology, sediment, nutrient, and pesticide yields Larger watersheds (> 1,000 km2) Similar effort used by BASINS
Abstract Routing Representation

to next channel

73 71
channel 73 pseudochannel 71


Kinematic Runoff and Erosion Model (KINEROS2)

Event-based (< minute time steps) Distributed: physically-based model with dynamic routing Hydrology, erosion, sediment transport Smaller watersheds (< 100 km2) 71 72 73
Abstract Routing Representation

Where KINEROS2 Works

Arid and Semi-Arid Watersheds Heavily Urbanized Watersheds

http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2000/ast15 nov_1.htm http://ialcworld.org/soils/surveys/states.html

Watersheds characterized by predominantly overland flow

AGWA Inputs and Outputs

Watershed Discretization (model elements)

Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Soil

Intersect model elements with

Channel Infiltration (m3/km) Plane Infiltration (mm) Runoff (mm or m3) Sediment yield (kg) Peak flow (m3/s or mm/hr) Channel Scour (mm) Sediment discharge (kg/s)

SWAT Outputs
Precipitation (mm) ET (mm) Percolation (mm) Surface runoff (mm) Transmission loss (mm) Water yield (mm) Sediment yield (t/ha)

Land Cover

Rain Run model and import results


AGWA ArcView Interface

Navigating Through AGWA

Generate Watershed Outline Subdivide Watershed Into Model Elements SWAT
Choose the model to run grid



Intersect Soils & Land Cover

Generate rainfall input files
Daily Rainfall from Gauge locations Thiessen map Pre-defined continuous record

look-up tables

Storm Event from NOAA Atlas-II Pre-defined return-period / magnitude Create-your-own

Navigating Through AGWA, Contd

Prepare input data
Subwatersheds & Channels Continuous Rainfall Records Channel & Plane Elements Event (Return Period) Rainfall

Run The Hydrologic Model & Import Results Display Results

SWAT output: Runoff, water yield (mm) Evapotranspiration (mm) Percolation (mm) Transmission Losses (mm) Sediment Yields (mm)

external to AGWA

Visualization for each model element

KINEROS output: Runoff (mm,m3) Sediment Yield (kg/ha) Infiltration (mm, in) Transmission losses (m3/km) Peak runoff rate (m3/s) Peak sediment discharge (kg/s)

SWAT Parameter Estimation - Example: Curve Number from MRLC land cover
 Higher numbers result in higher runoff
CURVE NUMBER Hydrologic Soil Group A 81 96 B 88 96 55 63 77 80 65 76 C 91 96 75 85 87 84 D 93 96 80 88 93 88 Cover 15 2 50 25 70 80

NLCD Land cover High intensity residential (22) Bare rock/sand/clay (31) Forest (41) Shrubland (51) Grasslands/herbaceous (71) Small grains (83)

KINEROS Parameter Estimation

 Parameters based on soil texture
Texture Clay Fractured Bedrock Clay Loam Sandy Clay Loam Silt Loam Sandy Loam Gravel Ksat 0.6 0.6 2.3 4.3 6.8 13.0 26.0 210.0 Suction Porosity Smax 407.0 0.475 0.81 407.0 0.475 0.81 259.0 0.464 0.84 263.0 0.398 0.83 203.0 0.501 0.97 108.0 0.463 0.94 127.0 0.453 0.91 46.0 0.437 0.95 CV 0.50 0.50 0.94 0.60 0.50 0.40 1.90 0.69 Sand 27 27 32 59 23 42 65 27 Silt Clay 23 50 23 50 34 34 11 30 61 16 39 19 23 12 23 50 Dist 0.16 0.16 0.24 0.40 0.23 0.25 0.38 0.16 Kff 0.34 0.05 0.39 0.36 0.49 0.42 0.32 0.15

 Parameters based on land cover classification (NALC)

Land Cover Type Forest Oak Woodland Mesquite Woodland Grassland Desertscrub Riparian Agriculture Urban Interception (mm/hr) 1.15 1.15 1.15 2.0 3.0 1.15 0.75 0.0 Canopy (%) 30 20 20 25 10 70 50 0.0 Manning's n 0.070 0.040 0.040 0.050 0.055 0.060 0.040 0.010

AGWA Soil Weighting (KINEROS)

Area and depth weighting of soil parameters Area weighting of averaged MUID values for each watershed element
Intersection of model element with soils map


AZ076 Components for MUID AZ061

Component 2 45% Component 3 35% Component 1 20% Layer 1 Layer 2 2 2


Layers for component 3

9 inches

Layer 3

Parameter Manipulation (optional)

Stream channel attributes


Can manually change parameters for each channel and plane element

Upland plane attributes


Visualization of Results
Multiple simulation runs for a given watershed Calculate and view differences between model runs

Color-ramping of results for each element to show spatial variability

Automated tracking of simulation inputs

Spatial and Temporal Scaling of Results

 Using SWAT and KINEROS for integrated watershed assessment  Land cover change analysis and impact on hydrologic response
Upper San Pedro River Basin
High urban growth 1973-1997

Sierra Vista Subwatershed

Concentrated urbanization




Water yield change between 1973 and 1997 <<WY >>WY


SWAT Results

1997 Land Cover

Forest Oak Woodland Mesquite Desertscrub Grassland Urban

Urbanization Effects (KINEROS2)

Pre-urbanization 1973 Land Cover

Post-urbanization 1997 Land Cover

Results from pre- and post-urbanization simulations using the 10-year, 1-hour design storm event

Limitations of GIS - Model Linkage

Model Parameters are based on look-up tables - need for local calibration for accuracy - FIELD WORK! Subdivision of the watershed is based on topography - prefer it be based on intersection of soil, lc, topography No sub-pixel variability in source (GIS) data - condition, temporal (seasonal, annual) variability - MRLC created over multi-year data capture No model element variability in model input -averaging due to upscaling

Most useful for relative assessment unless calibrated

Improvements in AGWA 1.4 and BASINS-AGWA

Run SWAT on a daily time step & visualize animated results SSURGO soil parameterization for SWAT Enhanced ground-water parameterization dialog for SWAT Elevation bands for SWAT FAO Soils international usage Multiple hydraulic-geometry relations for channel characterization Land-Cover Modification Tool

Land-Cover Modification Tool Overview

Allows user to specify type and location of land-cover alterations by either drawing a polygon on the display, or specifying a polygon map Types of Land Cover Changes Change entire user defined area to new land cover e.g. to grassland Change one land cover type to another in user defined area e.g. to simulate road restoration, change from barren to desert scrub Change land cover type within user supplied polygon map e.g. to simulate a prescribed burn, change map of burn area to barren Create a random land cover pattern e.g. to simulate burn pattern, change to 64% barren, 31% desert scrub, and 5% mesquite woodland

Integrating a Landscape/Hydrologic Analysis for Watershed Assessment

Mariano Hernandez, William G. Kepner, Darius J. Semmens, Donald W. Ebert, David C. Goodrich, Scott N. Miller

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Demonstrate the coordinated application of the Analytical Tools Interface for Landscape Assessments (ATtILA) and the Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool to:
 Assess the contribution of different land-cover types to surface runoff and sediment yield for the period 1993 to 1997  Identify subwatersheds with high sediment loadings as a result of land-cover management

Land use decisions can exacerbate:
Natural hazards and soil erosion Alter hydrologic balance Pollute surface and ground water Destroy wildlife habitats Increase air pollution Diminish community quality life


Upper San Pedro Watershed

7,600 km2 5,800 km2 Arizona/ 1,800 km2 Sonora Elevation 900 2,900 m Annual ppt. 30 75 cm Sonoran/Chihuahuan Transition Zone

The general approach used in this study was carried out as follows:
1) Discretization of the San Pedro River Basin into reporting units or subwatersheds using AGWA 2) Computation of landscape metrics with ATtILA a) Land use proportions b) Number of patches c) Patch density d) Largest patch index e) Average patch size 3) Characterization of Hydrologic Response Units (HRUs) based on land use proportions for SWAT

4) Application of the AGWA tool to parameterize the SWAT model 5) Identification of subwatersheds with high sediment yield based on land-cover type, slope steepness, and average patch size

Percentage of agriculture and average patch size on each individual subwatershed

58 67 65 61 60 66 62 64 56 63 54 53 55 50


57 59 51 52

Percentage (%)
2.88 - 84.21 1.20 - 2.88 0.55 - 1.20

58 67 65 61 60 66 62 64 56 63 54 53 55 50


57 59 51 52

Average Patch Size (ha)

33.62 - 93.60 14.10 - 33.62 4.95 - 14.10 0.00 - 4.95

49 47

0.00 - 0.55

49 47


44 43 1 5 24 7 6 28

40 42 41 39 37 36 35 32 34 33 3130 29 26 27 25 24 22 23 1 5 24 7 6



44 43

46 45 40 42 41 39 37 36 35 32 34 33 3130 29

8 28


27 25 24 22 23

20 21

20 21

19 15 9 11 14

17 18 13 10 12

19 17 18 13 10 12

15 9 11


Spatially distributed average surface runoff and average sediment yield for the period 1993 - 1997

Sediment yield and mean annual surface runoff relationship

 Watershed Assessment
HRUs were ranked according to high contributing sediment yield areas using the relationship between sediment yield to mean annual surface runoff as a function of four land cover types The average slope (9%) and the average sediment yield (0.8 t/ha) of all HRUs were used as cutoff criteria The selection process yielded eight HRUs; six are classified as agriculture (Ag) and two as desertscrub (Ds)

Areas with high sediment yields for 1993 - 1997

Highest contributions to sediment yield is produced in areas with agriculture and desertscrub land cover types Average slope steepness, average annual sediment yield, and average patch size were used to identify and rank sensitive subwatersheds

Simulating the Impact of Landscape Change on Channel Geomorphology in Semi-Arid Watersheds

Darius J. Semmens U of AZ, USDA-ARS, U.S. EPA-LEB April 2, 2004

To understand how an individual stream reach responds to external stresses it is necessary to study the channel network as a whole Watershed-based models are thus necessary to evaluate geomorphic impacts of landscape change Development of watershed-based geomorphic models is also the first step towards linking landscape and ecological indicators with surficial processes and response Event-based watershed models simulate erosion and deposition based on assumption that channel geometry is static during the course of an event
Prevents simulation of cumulative impacts from multiple events

No event-based watershed models for arid and semi-arid regions that can track cumulative adjustment of the channel network in terms of channel width, depth, and slope.

Implement channel-geometry adjustments in KINEROS2 based on total stream power minimization Develop a GIS-based interface to facilitate model parameterization, multiple-event simulations, and results visualization

KINEROS2 Geomorphic Model (K2G)

Width and depth adjusted to minimize total stream power at end of each time step Depth adjustments Maximum erodible depth Bank failure Width adjustments Compound channels

GIS-based interface for K2G, customized version of AGWA Watershed delineation and discretization Land cover and soils parameterization Coordinates multiple consecutive simulations and tracks cumulative outputs Results visualization Differencing results from two simulations relative assessment

Depth Changes

Width Changes

Simulations based on
Hydraulic-geometry channels 1997 land cover Wet (top), intermediate (middle), and dry (bottom) year simulation results


Decreasing Precipitation


Erosion during wet year, and deposition during dry year


Results Relative Assessment

Significant differences concentrated on urbanized tributary Erosion increases within urbanized area more pronounced for wet year Reduced erosion or increased deposition begins further upstream during drier year Aggradation downstream characterized by depth decreases and width increases
Difference in Depth Changes Difference in Width Changes


Decreasing Precipitation


Geomorphic response varies with rainfall record able to resolve changing spatial patterns of sediment movement Relative assessment useful for highlighting the relative magnitude of geomorphic impacts associated with landcover change Assessment of channel stability, or vulnerability to degradation will require simulations for a range of rainfall records and durations more research needed Linkages to riparian condition not yet established Arid-region model at present