University of Oulu

Chathuranika, I.M.; Gunathilake, M.B.; Baddewela, P.K.; Sachinthanie, E.; Babel, M.S.; Shrestha, S.; Jha, M.K.; Rathnayake, U.S. Comparison of Two Hydrological Models, HEC-HMS and SWAT in Runoff Estimation: Application to Huai Bang Sai Tropical Watershed, Thailand. Fluids 2022, 7, 267.

Comparison of two hydrological models, HEC-HMS and SWAT in runoff estimation : application to Huai Bang Sai tropical watershed, Thailand

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Author: Chathuranika, Imiya M.1; Gunathilake, Miyuru B.2,3; Baddewela, Pavithra K.4;
Organizations: 1Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Sri Lanka Institute of Technology, Malabe 10115, Sri Lanka
2Hydrology and Aquatic Environment, Division of Environmental and Natural Resources, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy and Research, 1431 Ås, Norway
3Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, 90014 Oulu, Finland
4Department of Transport and Logistics Management, Faculty of Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Katubedda 10400, Sri Lanka
5Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, Kandy 20400, Sri Lanka
6Water Engineering and Management, School of Engineering and Technology, Asian Institute of Technology, Pathum Thani 12120, Thailand
7Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-28


In the present study, the streamflow simulation capacities between the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and the Hydrologic Engineering Centre-Hydrologic Modelling System (HEC-HMS) were compared for the Huai Bang Sai (HBS) watershed in northeastern Thailand. During calibration (2007–2010) and validation (2011–2014), the SWAT model demonstrated a Coefficient of Determination (R2) and a Nash Sutcliffe Efficiency (NSE) of 0.83 and 0.82, and 0.78 and 0.77, respectively. During the same periods, the HEC-HMS model demonstrated values of 0.80 and 0.79, and 0.84 and 0.82. The exceedance probabilities at 10%, 40%, and 90% were 144.5, 14.5, and 0.9 mm in the flow duration curves (FDCs) obtained for observed flow. From the HEC-HMS and SWAT models, these indices yielded 109.0, 15.0, and 0.02 mm, and 123.5, 16.95, and 0.02 mm. These results inferred those high flows were captured well by the SWAT model, while medium flows were captured well by the HEC-HMS model. It is noteworthy that the low flows were accurately simulated by both models. Furthermore, dry and wet seasonal flows were simulated reasonably well by the SWAT model with slight under-predictions of 2.12% and 13.52% compared to the observed values. The HEC-HMS model under-predicted the dry and wet seasonal flows by 10.76% and 18.54% compared to observed flows. The results of the present study will provide valuable recommendations for the stakeholders of the HBS watershed to improve water usage policies. In addition, the present study will be helpful to select the most appropriate hydrologic model for humid tropical watersheds in Thailand and elsewhere in the world.

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Series: Fluids
ISSN: 2311-5521
ISSN-E: 2311-5521
ISSN-L: 2311-5521
Volume: 7
Issue: 8
Article number: 267
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (