Modeling the Impact of Soil and Water Conservation on Surface and Ground Water Based on the SCS and Visual Modflow.

TitleModeling the Impact of Soil and Water Conservation on Surface and Ground Water Based on the SCS and Visual Modflow.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsWang H, Gao J-E, Zhang S-L, Zhang M-J, Li X-H
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue11
Paginatione79103
Date Published2013
Abstract

Soil and water conservation measures can impact hydrological cycle, but quantitative analysis of this impact is still difficult in a watershed scale. To assess the effect quantitatively, a three-dimensional finite-difference groundwater flow model (MODFLOW) with a surface runoff model-the Soil Conservation Service (SCS) were calibrated and applied based on the artificial rainfall experiments. Then, three soil and water conservation scenarios were simulated on the sand-box model to assess the effect of bare slope changing to grass land and straw mulching on water volume, hydraulic head, runoff process of groundwater and surface water. Under the 120 mm rainfall, 60 mm/h rainfall intensity, 5 m(2) area, 3° slope conditions, the comparative results indicated that the trend was decrease in surface runoff and increase in subsurface runoff coincided with the land-use converted from bare slope to grass land and straw mulching. The simulated mean surface runoff modulus was 3.64×10(-2) m(3)/m(2)/h in the bare slope scenario, while the observed values were 1.54×10(-2) m(3)/m(2)/h and 0.12×10(-2) m(3)/m(2)/h in the lawn and straw mulching scenarios respectively. Compared to the bare slope, the benefits of surface water reduction were 57.8% and 92.4% correspondingly. At the end of simulation period (T = 396 min), the simulated mean groundwater runoff modulus was 2.82×10(-2) m(3)/m(2)/h in the bare slope scenario, while the observed volumes were 3.46×10(-2) m(3)/m(2)/h and 4.91×10(-2) m(3)/m(2)/h in the lawn and straw mulching scenarios respectively. So the benefits of groundwater increase were 22.7% and 60.4% correspondingly. It was concluded that the soil and water conservation played an important role in weakening the surface runoff and strengthening the underground runoff. Meanwhile the quantitative analysis using a modeling approach could provide a thought for the study in a watershed scale to help decision-makers manage water resources.

DOI10.1371/journal.pone.0080605
Alternate JournalPLoS ONE