Simulating sub-daily hydrological process with SWAT: a review Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2019, © 2019 IAHS. The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a watershed-scale hydrologic model that integrates water quantity and quality modules. Despite the large amount of knowledge on the SWAT model, specific understanding of sub-daily applications remains limited. In this review, we identify the shortcomings and possible ways forward in simulating sub-daily processes with the model. A literature review was conducted, along with a participatory method based on a questionnaire. We reviewed 28 scientific articles and categorized them into: (i) model development, (ii) streamflow methods comparison, (iii) water quality, and (iv) other applications. We found that using sub-daily data improves hydrograph peak simulation, while for medium flows use of daily data was better. From all the reviewed studies, a 1-hour time step was the most suitable time scale for the sub-daily model application. The participatory questionnaire confirmed the hypothesis that the main challenge for using the sub-daily routine was the lack of high-resolution data.

author list (cited authors)

  • Brighenti, T. M., Bonumá, N. B., Srinivasan, R., & Chaffe, P.

citation count

  • 7

publication date

  • August 2019