Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2017, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (7): 817-834.doi: 10.1007/s11442-017-1408-2

• Orginal Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Applicability evaluation of the SWIM at river basins of the black soil region in Northeast China: A case study of the upper and middle Wuyuer River basin

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

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Remote Sensing Monitoring of Geographic Environment, Harbin Normal University, Harbin 150025, China
    2. College of Territorial Resources and Tourism, Anhui Normal University, Wuhu 241000, Anhui, China
    3. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2016-11-15 Accepted:2017-01-20 Online:2017-07-10 Published:2017-07-10
  • About author:

    Author: Yang Zhiyuan, PhD Candidate, specialized in land use, regional environment modeling and evaluation. E-mail:

    *Corresponding author: Zang Shuying, Professor, E-mail:

  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41571199, No.41571105;Natural Science Foundation of Heilongjiang Province, No.ZD201308


In this paper, we selected the middle and upper reaches of the Wuyuer River basin in the black soil region of Northeast China as the study area. We adopted the soil and water integrated model (SWIM) and evaluated the parameter sensitivity using partial correlation coefficient. We calibrated and validated our simulation results based on the daily runoff data from Yi’an hydrological station at the outlet of the river basin and the evaporation data recorded by various weather stations from 1961 to 1997. Following evaluation of the modeling data against the observed data, we present the applicability of SWIM in the river basin of the black soil region, and discuss the resulting errors and their probable causes. Results show that in the periods of calibration and validation, the Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE) coefficients of the monthly and daily runoffs were not less than 0.71 and 0.55, and the relative errors were less than 6.0%. Compared to daily runoffs, the simulation result of monthly runoffs was better. Additionally, the NSE coefficients of the potential monthly evaporation were not less than 0.81. Together, the results suggest that the calibrated SWIM can be utilized in various simulation analyses of runoffs on a monthly scale in the black soil region of Northeast China. On the contrary, the model had some limitations in simulating runoffs from snowmelt and frozen soil. Meanwhile, the stimulation data deviated from the measured data largely when applied to the years with spring and summer floods. The simulated annual runoffs were considerably higher than the measured data in the years with abrupt increases in annual precipitation. However, the model is capable of reproducing the changes in runoffs during flood seasons. In summary, this model can provide fundamental hydrological information for comprehensive management of the Wuyuer River basin water environment, and its application can be potentially extended to other river basins in the black soil region.

Key words: SWIM, Wuyuer River basin, sensitivity analysis, runoff, potential evapotranspiration, applicability evaluation