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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-614
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-614
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 22 Jan 2019

Research article | 22 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.

A Salinity Module for SWAT to Simulate Salt Ion Fate and Transport at the Watershed Scale

Ryan T. Bailey, Saman Tavakoli-Kivi, and Xiaolu Wei Ryan T. Bailey et al.
  • Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Colorado State University, 1372 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO, 80523-1372, United States

Abstract. 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 8 major salt ions (SO4, Ca, Mg, Na, K, Cl, CO3, 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 worldwide.

Ryan T. Bailey et al.
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Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Interactive discussion
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Ryan T. Bailey et al.
Model code and software

SWAT_Salinity R. Bailey https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2541224

Ryan T. Bailey et al.
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Short summary
Salinity is one of the most common water quality threats in river basins and irrigated regions worldwide. Available watershed models, however, do not simulate the fate and transport of salt species. This paper presents a modified version of the popular SWAT watershed model that simulates the transport of major salt ions in a watershed system. Salt is transported via surface runoff, soil percolation, groundwater flow, and stream flow. The model can be used in salt-affected watersheds worldwide.
Salinity is one of the most common water quality threats in river basins and irrigated regions...
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