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On-line version ISSN 2521-9766Print version ISSN 1405-3195


RIVERA-TORAL, Francisco; PEREZ-NIETO, Samuel; IBANEZ-CASTILLO, L. Alicia  and  HERNANDEZ-SAUCEDO, F. Raúl. Applicability of SWAT Model for estimating water erosion in México's watersheds. Agrociencia [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.2, pp.101-105. ISSN 2521-9766.

The SWAT model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) can be a very helpful tool for estimating sediments and runoffs; however, its application has some limitations. In this study, we revise the applicability of the SWAT hydrologic simulation model in México's watersheds, by applying it to the watershed in Ixtapan del Oro, Estado de México, to estimate soil loss, and comparing it to results from values estimated using the algebraic mapping technique. It was found that SWAT underestimates the topographic factor in sub-basins, particularly when the slope is greater than 25 %, since it performs a wrong estimate of the slope length, assigning constant values of 0.05 m. This value can be corrected if it is estimated outside the model and introduced manually. It was calculated that 88.7 % (13 138.8 ha) of the watershed is found in the incipient and mild erosion classes, which shows a good conservation of its vegetation and soils; in addition, 75.4 % (11 150.7 ha) of its surface is covered by forest. With these considerations, we conclude that the SWAT model can be used to estimate soil loss in México's watersheds.

Keywords : SWAT; erosion; topographic factor; Ixtapan del Oro.

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