Comparative hydrology: relationships among physical characteristics, hydrological behavior, and results of the SWAT model in different regions of Brazil (Hidrologia comparativa: relações entre características físicas, comportamento hidrológico e ....)

Jorge Enoch Furquim Werneck Lima, Suzana Montenegro, Abelardo Antônio de Assunção Montenegro, Sergio Koide


Comparative hydrology studies, either by the similarities or the differences in the obtained data and results, represent an important tool for advancing knowledge of cause-effect relationships between the physical characteristics of the basins and their hydrological behavior. The objective of this study was to present a comparative analysis of measured and simulated characteristics of experimental and representative basins in different regions of Brazil. The SWAT model was used. Four catchments were evaluated: Alto Ipanema, located in the Caatinga biome, with semi-arid climate; Tapacurá, in the transition zone between the Caatinga and Atlantic Forest biomes, with hot and humid tropical climate; and Lago Descoberto and Alto Jardim, both in the Cerrado biome and with tropical altitude climate. The catchments were compared with respect to their physical characteristics (climate, soil, altitude, and land use). Using sensitivity analysis, it was found which of the SWAT model parameters best explain the hydrological behavior of the study regions. Considering its characteristics, the parameters values obtained in each catchment after model calibration were analyzed and compared, indicating the possibility of using these values as reference for their regions. The results indicate a clear relationship between the physical characteristics of watersheds, their respective hydrological behavior, and the values of two SWAT model parameters, CN2 and SOL_K. For other parameters, the relationship between the obtained values do not reflected adequately the characteristics of the catchment, indicating a need for improvement in the physical basis of the calibrated model.

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Revista Brasileira de Geografia Física - ISSN: 1984-2295

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