SWAT-CS: Revision and testing of SWAT for Canadian Shield catchments

Year of Publication
2014
Summary Canadian Shield catchments are under increasing pressure from various types of development (e.g., mining and increased cottagers) and changing climate. Within the southern part of the Canadian Shield, catchments are generally characterized by shallow forested soils with high infiltration rates and low bedrock infiltration, generating little overland flow, and macropore and subsurface flow are important streamflow generation processes. Large numbers of wetlands and lakes are also key physiographic features, and snow-processes are critical to catchment modeling in this climate. We have revised the existing, publicly available SWAT (version 2009.10.1 Beta 3) to create SWAT-CS, a version representing hydrological processes dominating Canadian Shield catchments, where forest extends over Precambrian Shield bedrock. Prior to this study, very few studies applying SWAT to Canadian Shield catchments exist (we have found three). We tested SWAT-CS using the Harp Lake catchment dataset, an Ontario Ministry of Environment research station located in south-central Ontario. Simulations were evaluated against 30-years of observational data, including streamflow from six headwater sub-catchments (0.1-1.9km