Articles | Volume 23, issue 7
Research article
 | Highlight paper
31 Jul 2019
Research article | Highlight paper |  | 31 Jul 2019

A salinity module for SWAT to simulate salt ion fate and transport at the watershed scale

Ryan T. Bailey, Saman Tavakoli-Kivi, and Xiaolu Wei

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Subject: Catchment hydrology | Techniques and Approaches: Modelling approaches
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Cited articles

Abbaspour, K. C., Yang, J., Reichert, P., Vejdani, M., Haghighat, S., and Srinivasan, R.: SWAT-CUP: SWAT calibration and uncertainty programs, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Zurich, Switzerland, 2008. 
Abbaspour, K. C., Rouholahnejad, E., Vaghefi, S., Srinivasan, R., Yang, H., and Klove, B.: A continental-scale hydrology and water quality model for Europe: Calibration and uncertainty of a high-resolution large-scale SWAT model, J. Hydrol., 524, 733–752,, 2015. 
Arabi, M., Govindaraju, R. S., Hantush, M. M., and Engel, B. A.: Role of watershed subdivision on modeling the effectiveness of best management practices with SWAT, J. Am. Water. Resour. As., 42, 513–528,, 2006. 
Bailey, R.: SWAT-Salt: Source code for original SWAT model and new salt transport subroutines, available at:, last access: 22 July 2019. 
Bailey, R. T., Wible, T. C., Arabi, M., Records, R. M., and Ditty, J.: Assessing regional-scale spatio-temporal patterns of groundwater-surface water interactions using a coupled SWAT-MODFLOW model, Hydrol. Process., 30, 4420–4433,, 2016. 
Short summary
Salinity is one of the most common water quality threats in river basins and irrigated regions worldwide. Available watershed models, however, do not simulate the fate and transport of salt species. This paper presents a modified version of the popular SWAT watershed model that simulates the transport of major salt ions in a watershed system. Salt is transported via surface runoff, soil percolation, groundwater flow, and streamflow. The model can be used in salt-affected watersheds worldwide.