1 Department of Watershed Management, Faculty of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Birjand, Birjand, Iran

2 Department of Water Engineering, Faculty of Civil Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran


Hydrologic modeling of semi-arid watersheds is imperative for the development of appropriate water and soil conservation plans. In the current study, the efficiency of Kinematic Runoff and Erosion model-version 2 (K2) model was used to evaluate water discharge and sediment load simulation of Bar watershed, located in the north-eastern part of Iran. The K2 model relies on the kinematic wave approach to route surface flow. The drainage network and planes are discretized to represent the watershed. In order to evaluate the model, 3 and 2 reported rainfall incidents in various dates were selected for K2 calibration and validation, respectively. The multiplier approach was employed for model calibration. The results of sensitivity investigation revealed that the soil parameters Ks-CH, n and G had the highest impact on flow discharge. Through the calibration process, the Nash-Sutcliff Efficiency and the coefficient of determination as fitting metrics for water discharge simulation (based on event #2, dated 16 March 1992) were estimated to be 0.78 and 0.88, respectively. According to the aggregated measure, the highest K2 efficiency was obtained during the calibration process based on event #2. Other storm events were resulted in a good simulation, as well. During the validation process, K2 simulation (based on event #4, dated 07 March 1991) led to the Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency and R2 of 0.77 and 0.71, respectively. The K2 calibration for sediment load simulation was performed through the alterations of the Pave and Rainsplash parameters. The bias percentages between simulated and observed total sediment loads based on events #2 and #4 were 5% and 16%, respectively. Conclusively, the K2 model showed an acceptable robustness in the hydrological simulation of Bar watershed as a representative semi-arid watershed in northeast of Iran.

Graphical Abstract


  •  Proper efficiency and acceptable robustness of the KINEROS2 (K2) for hydrological simulation of semi-arid watersheds, in which there is a lack of precipitation data with densely spatial distribution
  • Significant impact of soil properties on hydrological simulation, explored through a multiplier-based calibration and sensitivity analysis
  • High capability of the runoff-based optimized K2 for sediment load simulation of semi-arid watersheds


Main Subjects

Al-Qurashi, A.; McIntyre, N.; Wheater, H.; Unkrich, C., (2008). Application of the Kineros2 rainfall–runoff model to an arid catchment in Oman. J. Hydrol. 355(1): 91-105 (15 pages).

Arnold, J.G.; Williams, J.R.; Srinivasan, R.; King, K.W.; Griggs, R.H., (1994). SWAT: soil and water assessment tool. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Grassland, Soil and Water Research Laboratory, Temple, TX (494 pages).

Beasley, D.B.; Huggins, L.F.; Monke, A., (1980). ANSWERS: A model for watershed planning. Trans. ASAE. 23(4): 938-0944 (7 pages).

Cabral, S.L.; Reis, R.S.; Junior, C.R.F., )2013(. Avaliacao do da urbanizacao na producao na producao de sedimentos da bacia do rio jacarecica/al mediante uso de modelo hidrossedimentologico distribuido. Revista Brasileira de Ciencia do Solo. 37(4): 1073-1080 (8 pages).

Costelloe, J.F.; Grayson, R.B.; McMahon, T.A., (2006). Modelling streamflow in a large anastomosing river of the arid zone, Diamantina River, Australia. J. Hydrol. 323(1): 138-153 (16 pages).

de Lima Paiva, F.M.; Marques da Silva, R.; Guimarães Santos, C.A., (2005). Study of vegetal cover influence on experimental erosion plots by a runoff-erosion modeling. Sociedade & Natureza, 1(1): 235-242 (8 pages).

Dody, A.; Shillito, R.; Givati, A.; Siegel, A.; Galili, U.; Eisenberg, O., (2017). Rainfall, runoff and erosion analyses in a sandy desert watershed under mid-latitude cyclones using the Kineros2 model. Int. J. Environ. Prot. 7(1): 8-19 (12 pages).

Downer, C.W.; Ogden, F.L., (2004). GSSHA: Model to simulate diverse stream flow producing processes. J. Hydrol. Eng. 9(3): 161-174 (14 pages).

El‐Hames, A.S.; Richards, K.S., (1998). An integrated, physically based model for arid region flash flood prediction capable of simulating dynamic transmission loss. J. Hydrol. Process. 12(8): 1219-1232 (14 pages).

Faurès, J.M.; Goodrich, D.C.; Woolhiser, D.A.; Sorooshian, S., (1995). Impact of small-scale spatial rainfall variability on runoff modeling. J. Hydrol. 173(1-4): 309-326 (18 pages).

Geza, M.; Poeter, E.P.; McCray, J.E., (2009). Quantifying predictive uncertainty for a mountain-watershed model. J. Hydrol. 376(1): 170-181 (12 pages).

Grayson, R.B.; Moore, I.D.; McMahon, T.A., (1992). Physically based hydrologic modeling: 1. A terrain‐based model for investigative purposes. J. Water Resour. Res. 28(10): 2639-2658 (20 pages).

Guber, A.K.; Yakirevich, A.M.; Sadeghi, A.M.; Pachepsky, Y.A.; Shelton, D.R., (2009). Uncertainty evaluation of coliform bacteria removal from vegetated filter strip under overland flow condition. J. Environ. Qual. 38(4): 1636-1644 (9 pages).

Guber, A.K.; Pachepsky, Y.A.; Yakirevich, A.M.; Shelton, D.R.; Sadeghi, A.M.; Goodrich, D.C.; Unkrich, C.L., (2011). Uncertainty in modelling of faecal coliform overland transport associated with manure application in Maryland. J. Hydrol. Process. 25(15): 2393-2404 (12 pages).

Hughes, D.A., (1995). Monthly rainfall-runoff models applied to arid and semiarid catchments for water resource estimation purposes. Hydrol. Sci. J. 40(6): 751-769 (19 pages).

Kalin, L.; Hantush, M.M., (2003). Evaluation of sediment transport models and comparative application of two watershed models. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Risk Management Research Laboratory (81 pages).

Kasmaei, L.P.; Van Der Sant, R.; Lane, P.J.; Sheriadan, G., (2015). ‏Modelling overland flow on burned hillslopes using the KINEROS2 model. 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Gold Coast, Australia, 222-228 (7 pages).

Kennedy, J.R.; Goodrich, D.C.; Unkrich, C.L., (2012). Using the KINEROS2 modeling framework to evaluate the increase in storm runoff from residential development in a semiarid environment. J. Hydrol. Eng. 18(6): 698-706 (9 pages).

Knisel, W.G.; Foster, G.R., (1981). CREAMS [Chemicals, runoff, and erosion from agricultural management systems]: a system for evaluating best management practices [Mathematical models, pollution]. FAO (690 pages).

Koster, G., (2013). Mapping runoff and erosion to reduce urban flooding and sediment flow towards sea, A case study on the Playa catchment, Bonaire. MSc. thesis. Water Resources Management Group, WAGENINGEN University (81 pages).

McCuen, R.H., (1989). Hydrologic analysis and design (pp. 143-147). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall (833 pages).

McCuen, R.H.; Snyder, W.M., (1975). A proposed index for comparing hydrographs. J. Water Resour. Res. 11(6): 1021-1024 (4 pages).

Memarian, H.; Balasundram, S.K.; Talib, J.; Teh, C.B.S.; Alias, M.S.; Abbaspour, K.C.; Haghizadeh, A., (2012). Hydrologic Analysis of a Tropical Watershed using KINEROS2. J. Environment Asia. 5(1): 84-93 (10 pages).

Memarian, H.; Balasundram, S.K.; Talib, J.B.; Teh Boon Sung, C.; Mohd Sood, A.; Abbaspour, K.C., (2013). KINEROS2 application for land use/cover change impact analysis at the Hulu Langat Basin, Malaysia. Water Environ J. 27(4): 549-560 (12 pages).

Meyer, P.D.; Rockhold, M.L.; Gee, G.W., (1997). Uncertainty analyses of infiltration and subsurface flow and transport for SDMP sites (No. NUREG/CR--6565; PNNL--11705). Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States). Div. of Regulatory Applications; Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (United States) (85 pages).

Michaud, J.D.; Sorooshian, S., (1994). Effect of rainfall‐sampling errors on simulations of desert flash floods. J. Water Resour. Res. 30(10): 2765-2775 (11 pages).

Musau, J.; Sang, J.; Gathenya, J.; Luedeling, E.; Home, P., (2015). SWAT model parameter calibration and uncertainty analysis using the HydroPSO R package in Nzoia Basin, Kenya. J. Sust. Res. Eng. 1(3): 17-29 (13 pages).

Nachtergaele, F.; van Velthuizen, H.; Verelst, L.; Batjes, N.; Dijkshoorn, K.; van Engelen, V.; Fischer, G.; Jones, A.;  Montanarella, L.;  Prieler, S.; Teixeira, E.;  Wiberg, D.;  Shi, X., (2008). Harmonized world soil database. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (38 pages).

Nash, J.E.; Sutcliffe, J.V., (1970). River flow forecasting through conceptual models part I—A discussion of principles. J. Hydrol. 10(3): 282-290 (9 pages).

Nguyen, H.Q.; Degener, J.; Kappas, M., (2015). Flash Flood Prediction by Coupling KINEROS2 and HEC-RAS Models for Tropical Regions of Northern Vietnam. Hydrology. 2(4): 242-265 (24 pages).

Neitsch, S.L.; Williams, J.R.; Arnold, J.G.; Kiniry, J.R., (2011). Soil and water assessment tool theoretical documentation version 2009. Texas Water Resources Institute. (618 pages).

Safari, A.; De Smedt, F.; Moreda, F., (2012). WetSpa model application in the distributed model intercomparison project (DMIP2). J. Hydrol. 418: 78-89 (12 pages).

Sharpley, A.N.; Williams, J.R., (1990). EPIC, Erosion/Productivity Impact Calculator: Model documentation, Volume 1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (235 pages).

Schaffner, M.; Unkrich, C.L.; Goodrich, D.C., (2010). Application of the KINEROS2 site specific model to south-central NY and northeast PA: forecasting gaged and ungaged fast responding watersheds. NWS Eastern Region Technical Attachment. (64 pages).

Semmens, D.J.; Goodrich, D.C.; Unkrich, C.L.; Smith, R.E.; Woolhiser, D.A.; Miller, S.N., (2008). KINEROS2 and the AGWA modelling framework. In Hydrological modelling in arid and semi-arid areas, Wheater, H., Sorooshian, S. and Sharma, K.D. (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, New York. (206 pages).

Sidman, G.; Guertin, D.P.; Goodrich, D.C.; Unkrich, C.L.; Burns, I.S., (2016). Risk assessment of post-wildfire hydrological response in semiarid basins: the effects of varying rainfall representations in the KINEROS2/AGWA model. Int. J. Wildland Fire, 25(3): 268-278. (11 pages).

Smith, R.E.; Goodrich, D.C.; Unkrich, C.L., (1999). Simulation of selected events on the Catsop catchment by KINEROS2: a report for the GCTE conference on catchment scale erosion models. Catena, 37(3): 457-475 (19 pages).

Smith, R.E.; Parlange, J.Y., (1978). A parameter‐efficient hydrologic infiltration model. J. Water Resour. Res. 14(3): 533-538 (6 pages).

Sorooshian, S.; Gupta, V.K., (1995). Model Calibration. In Singh, V.P. (ed). Computer Models of Watershed Hydrology, pp. 23–68. Water Resources Publications, Colorado (46 pages).

Vatseva, R.; Nedkov, S.; Nikolova, M.; Kotsev, T., (2008). Modeling land cover changes for flood hazard assessment using Remote Sensing data. In Geospatial crossroads@ GI Forum’08—Proceedings of the Geoinformatics Forum Salzburg. 262-267 (6 pages).

Wagener, T.; Franks, S.W., (2005). Regional Hydrological Impacts of Climatic Change: Hydroclimatic variability (Vol. 2). International Association of Hydrological Sciences (300 pages).

Wheater, H.S.; Brown, R.P.C., (1989). Limitations of design hydrographs in arid areas-an illustration from southwest Saudi Arabia. Proc. 2nd Natl. BHS Symp. 349-356 (8 pages).

Williams, J.R.; Nicks, A.D.; Arnold, J.G., (1985). Simulator for water resources in rural basins. J. Hydraul Eng. 111(6): 970-986 (17 pages).

Woolhiser, D.A.; Smith, R.E.; Goodrich, D.C., (1990). KINEROS: a kinematic runoff and erosion model: documentation and user manual. ARS 77. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. (130 pages).

Yatheendradas, S.; Wagener, T.; Gupta, H.; Unkrich, C.; Goodrich, D.; Schaffner, M.; Stewart, A., (2008). Understanding uncertainty in distributed flash flood forecasting for semiarid regions. J. Water Resour. Res. 44(5): 1-17 (17 pages).



Tajbakhsh, S.M.; Memarian, H.; Sobhani, M.; Aghakhani Afshar, A.H., (2018). Kinematic runoff and erosion model efficiency assessment for hydrological simulation of semi-arid watersheds. Global. J. Environ. Sci. Manage., 4(2): 127-140 (14 pages).

Letters to Editor

GJESM Journal welcomes letters to the editor for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Letters pertaining to manuscript published in GJESM should be sent to the editorial office of GJESM within three months of either online publication or before printed publication, except for critiques of original research. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.
[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.
[3] Letters can be no more than 300 words in length.
[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.
[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.
[6] Letter writers must include their city and state of residence or work.
[7] Letters will be edited for clarity and length.