Hydrologic model for design and constructed wetlands




Arnold JG
Allen PM
Morgan DS

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The Trinity River Mitigation Bank was proposed to develop and use a mature, contiguous, diverse riparian corridor along the West Fork of the Trinity River near Dallas, Texas, USA. In the proposed wetland design, water would be diverted from Walker Creek as necessary to maintain wetland function. Therefore, assessment of the magnitude and continuity of the flow from Walker Creek was paramount to successful wetland operation. The Soil and Water Assessment (SWAT) model was used to assess whether the sustained flow (storm flow and base flow) from the Walker Creek Basin could maintain the proposed bottomland wetland ecosystem. For this study, SWAT was modified to allow ponded water within the prescribed wetland to interact with the soil profile and the shallow aquifer. The water budget was prepared for the wetland based on a three-step process. First, data required to run the model on Walker Creek, including soils, topographic, land-use, and daily weather data were assembled. Next, data required to validate the model were obtained. Since stream flow was not available at the proposed site, flow from a nearby watershed with similar soils, land use and topography were used. In the final step, the model was run for 14 years and compared to the measured water balance at the nearby watershed. The model results indicate that the wetland should be at or above 85 percent capacity over 60 percent of the time. The wetland did not dry up during the entire simulated time period (14 years) and reached 40 percent capacity less than one percent of the time during the simulation period. The advantages of the continuous simulation approach used in this study include (1) validation of wetland function (hydroperiod, soil water storage, plant water uptake) over a range of climatic conditions and (2) the ability to assess the long-term impact of land-use and management changes




Artificial Wetlands, Climatic Changes, Design, Flow Discharge, Hydrology, Land Use, mathematical models, Model Studies, Q2 02141 General, simulation, Soil-water-plant Relationships, Soils, Stream flow, SW 0810 General, Topographic features, Topography, USA, USA,Texas,Trinity R., Water budget, Watersheds, Wetlands