In this paper, evapotranspiration (ET) and leaf area index (LAI) were used to calibrate the SWAT model, whereas remotely sensed precipitation and other climatic parameters were used as forcing data for the 6300 km2 Day Basin, a tributary of the Red River in Vietnam. The efficacy of the Sequential Uncertainty Fitting (SUFI-2) parameter sensitivity and optimization model was tested with area specific remote sensing input parameters for every Hydrological Response Units (HRU), rather than with measurements of river flow representing a large set of HRUs, i.e., a bulk calibration. Simulated monthly ET correlations with remote sensing estimates showed an R2 = 0.71, Nash-Sutcliffe Efficiency NSE = 0.65, and Kling Gupta Efficiency KGE = 0.80 while monthly LAI showed correlations of R2 = 0.59, NSE = 0.57 and KGE = 0.83 over a five-year validation period. Accumulated modelled ET over the 5-year calibration period amounted to 5713 mm compared to 6015 mm of remotely sensed ET, yielding a difference of 302 mm (5.3%). The monthly flow at two flow measurement stations were adequately estimated (R2 = 0.78 and 0.55, NSE = 0.71 and 0.63, KGE = 0.59 and 0.75 for Phu Ly and Ninh Binh, respectively). This outcome demonstrates the capability of SWAT model to obtain spatial and accurate simulation of eco-hydrological processes, also when rivers are ungauged and the water withdrawal system is complex.
- Hydrological ecosystem services