Influences of soil dataset resolution on hydrologic modeling Academic Article uri icon


  • Soils represent a fundamental abiotic parameter in defining the characteristics of an ecosystem. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) produces the most detailed digital spatial soil datasets that are publicly available. The Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database contains basic attributes for the continuous coverage of soils across the United States. In its standard format, the SSURGO database is incompatible for use within the ArcView Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). A modified version of the State Soil and Geographic (STATSGO) database is the template soils dataset used by ArcView SWAT. This paper presents the methodology and development of a SSURGO database preprocessor extension for the ArcView SWAT model. A case study for the Upper Sabinal River Watershed near Uvalde, Texas, is given. Results indicate that hydrologic output parameter differences occur when comparing the STATSGO and SSURGO database information in the ArcView SWAT model under identical modeling conditions. Specifically, the SSURGO model produced a greater daily mean water yield with evapotranspiration and surface runoff being found consistently lower across the watershed. The most likely causes assigned to this phenomenon were higher percolation and resulting ground water return flow values due to significantly larger saturated hydraulic conductivity values associated with the SSURGO 2.x database. Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) (Copyright 2006).

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Peschel, J. M., Haan, P. K., & Lacey, R. E.

citation count

  • 12

complete list of authors

  • Peschel, Joshua M||Haan, Patricia K||Lacey, Ronald E

publication date

  • October 2006