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Research articles

ScienceAsia 37 (2011): 43-50 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2011.37.043

Predicting sediment discharge in an agricultural watershed: A case study of the Lam Sonthi watershed, Thailand

Puwadon Phomchaa,b,*, Prakob Wirojanaguda, Thaveesak Vangpaisala, Thanapon Thaveevouthtia

ABSTRACT:     The purpose of this study was to simulate the processes of sediment discharge in Lam Sonthi agricultural watershed in central Thailand using a soil and water assessment tool (SWAT) model. The SWAT model was calibrated and validated using input data collected during 1997–2002. The results showed that the values of both the correlation coefficient and Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient were above 0.70. Simulated sediment discharge was found to be lower than originally estimated for some months, particularly during seasons prone to flooding, but most of the predicted values were close to those graphically and statistically observed. Although the model was evaluated using only limited data and some of the algorithms used were not entirely appropriate for the tropical conditions found in the watershed, overall the results were within acceptable levels for estimating monthly sediment discharge. This led to the conclusion that the SWAT model can reliably predict monthly sediment discharge for any agricultural watershed which has conditions similar to those of the study watershed.

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a Department of Civil Engineering, Ubon Ratchathani University, Thailand
b Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rajamangala University of Technology Lanna, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: p.phomcha@rmutl.ac.th

Received 30 Sep 2009, Accepted 8 Feb 2011