Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2017, Vol. 72 ›› Issue (3): 457-470.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201703008

• Climate Change and Surface Processes • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Assessing SWIM model applicability in the black soil region of Northeast China: A case study in the middle and upper reaches of the Wuyuer River Basin

Zhiyuan YANG1(), Chao GAO2, Shuying ZANG1(), Xiuchun YANG3   

  1. 1. Harbin Normal University, Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Monitoring of Geographic Environment, Harbin 150025, China
    2. College of Territorial Resources and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, China
    3. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2016-11-13 Revised:2017-02-13 Online:2017-03-15 Published:2017-05-03
  • Supported by:
    National Natrual Science Foundation of China, No.41571199, No.41571105;Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, No.ZD201308


The black soil region of Northeast China is an important national commodity grain base. The Wuyuer River Basin is a typical black soil region and agricultural area in Northeast China. In this paper, a SWIM (Soil and Water Integrated Model) was constructed to study the applicability in the middle and upper reaches of the Wuyuer River Basin. Based on observed daily runoff data from a local hydrologic station and evaporating dish weather data from 1961-1997, the model was validated using multiple criteria and sites. Special attention was paid to the use of both spatial information (potential evapotranspiration) and more commonly used observations of water discharge at the basin outlet to validate the model. The applicability of the SWIM is evaluated using the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient and the relative error of runoff. Based on this analysis, the study discusses the applicability of the SWIM model in the black soil region of Northeast China, and the associated errors and causes. The study reached three key conclusions. First, the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficients of monthly runoff and daily runoff are greater than 0.71 and 0.55, respectively; the relative error of runoff is less than 6.0%. The simulation efficiency of the SWIM for both monthly runoff and daily runoff satisfies the assessment requirements, but the simulation efficiency of daily runoff is not ideal, and the simulation is more accurate for monthly runoff than daily runoff. The Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient of monthly evapotranspiration is more than 0.81. Second, the calibrated monthly SWIM model can be used to conduct different runoff simulations and analyses in the black soil region of Northeast China. Third, the study identified structural elements of the model that may limit some uses in the black soil region of Northeast China. The simulated values of spring flood runoff were less than the observed values; and the yearlong simulated results with spring and summer floods were poor. In years with a sudden increase in annual precipitation, the simulated results of the annual runoff were several times of the measured value. However, the model can fundamentally reproduce the flow change process during the flood season. The simulation results have an important reference value to study the impact of land-use change and climate change on hydrological processes at the regional scale. It can provide hydrological information to support the integrated management of the basin water environment, as well as other watersheds in the black soil region.

Key words: SWIM model, sensitivity analysis, runoff, evapotranspiration, applicability assessment, Wuyuer River Basin