Hydrosedimentological modeling of watershed in southeast Brazil, using SWAT

  • Thatiana Aparecida Lelis UFV
  • Maria Lúcia Calijuri Universidade Federal de Viçosa - UFV
Keywords: Soil loss, erosion, environmental modeling


The quantitative evaluation of soil loss due to erosion, of water loss and of load sediments that reach water bodies is fundamental to the environmental planning of a watershed, contributing to the process of decision for best options for soil tillage and water quality maintenance. Estimates of these data have been accomplished throughout the world using empiric or conceptual models. Besides being economically viable in scenarios development, environmental models may contribute to the location of critical areas, leading to emergency contention operations caused by erosive processes. Among these models, we highlight the SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) which was applied in São Bartolomeu watershed, located in the Zona da Mata, Minas Gerais state, southeastern Brazil, to identify areas of greater sensitivity to erosion considering the soil type and land use. To validate the model, 10 experimental plots were installed in the dominant crops of the watershed between 2006 and 2008, for monitoring the runoff and soil losses under natural rainfall. Field results and simulations showed the SWAT efficiency for sediment yield and soil losses estimations, as they are influenced by factors such as soil moisture, rainfall intensity, soil type and land use (dominated by Oxisols, Ultisols, Inceptisols and Entisols). These losses can be reduced significantly by improving crops management of. A simulation scenario replacing pastures cover by Eucalyptus was introduced, which significantly reduced soil loss in many parts of the watershed.

Author Biography

Thatiana Aparecida Lelis, UFV
Engenheira Civil, doutoranda em geotecnia ambiental