Creating SWAT Soil Database using FAO Soil and Terrain

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Creating SWAT Soil Database using FAO Soil and Terrain

Transcript Of Creating SWAT Soil Database using FAO Soil and Terrain

Creating SWAT Soil Database using FAO Soil and Terrain Database of East Africa (SOTER) Data
Prepared by Lauren Gies and Venkatesh Merwade vmerwade[at]purdue[dot]edu
SWAT is a very useful tool for hydrologists when modeling large watersheds. One of the main inputs the model needs is the soil properties for the basin. The soil data needed can be divided into physical characteristics (required) and chemical characteristics (optional). They play a large role in determining the movement of water and air within the HRU. To use FAO Soil and Terrain Database of East Africa (SOTER) data with SWAT, new soil characteristics will need to be appended into the existing SWAT database. Once a SWAT project is set up, the following steps will instruct how to use FAO SOTER soil data within the project.
SWAT Database:
To append the necessary data into the database, first locate the soil files within SWAT. Inside the SWAT database (ie there is a table entitled “usersoil”. This is the database that will be altered to include the FAO data.

Each column stands for the following:
SNAM: Soil Name (printed in the HRU summary tables) [optional] HYDGRP: Soil Hydraulic Group (A, B, C, or D) [required] SOL_ZMX: Maximum rooting depth of soil profile (mm) [required] ANION_EXCL: Fraction of porosity (void space) from which anions are excluded [optional]. If no
value is entered, the model will set = 0.50 SOL_CRK: Potential or maximum crack volume of the soil profile [optional] TEXTURE: Texture of soil layer [optional] SOL_Z(layer #): Depth from soil surface to bottom of layer (mm) [required] SOL_BD(layer #): Moist bulk density (Mg/m³ or g/cm³). Values should fall between 1.1 and 1.9
Mg/m³. [required] SOL_AWC(layer #): Available water capacity of the soil layer (mm H₂O/mm soil) [required] SOL_K(layer#): Saturated hydraulic conductivity (mm/hr) [required] SOL_CBN(layer #): Organic carbon content (% soil weight) [required] SOL_CLAY(layer #): Clay content (% soil weight) [required] SOL_SILT(layer #): Silt content (% soil weight) [required] SOL_SAND(layer #): Sand content (%s soil weight) [required] SOL_ROCK(layer #): Rock fragment content (% total weight) [required] SOL_ALB(top layer): Moist soil albedo [required] USLE_K(top layer): USLE equation soil erodibility (K) factor (units: 0.013 (metric ton m² hr)/(m³-
metric ton cm)). [required]
The FAO data contains textural soil information for up to 4 layers of soil; thus, the new table that will be appended will have SOL_Z1, SOL_Z2, SOL_Z3, SOL_4, etc. The next section will discuss how to access the data.
Accessing FAO Soil and Terrain Database of East Africa Data
Extracting the necessary data from SOTER
a. Open the file entitled SEA:
b. Install the program called INSTALL:

c) Select the country of interest from the upper right drop-down menu

Below is the tool bar:


2 3

1. This button loads the data summary screen where you can browse through the muidsheets (data for each polygon within the country profile). This summary screen converts the class codes used in the database into full text.
2. This button displays the thematic map dialog box where you can choose variables, colors, classes etc. to display on the map (ie vegetation, landscape, geology, etc).
3. This icon simply redraws the map
To export the data into manageable files, go to file->Export Data

This will open the dialog box below. Click Browse to select where the file will be saved. Change the format to ASCII fixed or Dbase (to be opened in excel). Select the >> button to select all the variables as well as Muidsheets (these are the polygons that make up the entire country). From the Table drop down menu, there is the option of General Info, Soil 1, Soil 2, and Soil 3. It’s necessary to export all 4 tables (they need to be exported individually).

Open these files in excel in order to manipulate them. SOTER gives soil data for up to 3 main soils within the polygon. Soil 1 represents the most dominant soil, Soil 1 represents the 2nd most dominant, and Soil 3 is the 3rd most dominant for the area. Use the dominant soil to characterize the entire polygon (in some cases there is no data for the dominant soil; in this case, use the subsequent soil data). In rare cases, no data for the soil is given. To characterize these polygons, use soil data from adjacent areas. Finding SWAT Parameters First, create a new excel file that contains the same column titles as the SWAT usersoil table. This will be the spreadsheet that is used to import the FAO data to the SWAT database. The FAO data gives a maximum of 5 layers of data. So the excel file only needs to extend to 5 soil profiles.
Soil textural and organic matter data are readily available for each soil/layer from the FAO data. Open the exported files in excel. It will be a large spreadsheet; the first row had headers that represent various characteristics of the polygons.
Copy all of the MUID’s over into the excel spreadsheet (if you are going to be using more than one country’s MUID values, it is helpful to add a prefix to the MUID values to distinguish the different countries). Because the dominant soils are being used to define the polygons, open the Soil 1 exported

file. This contains the FAO data for the dominant soil of the polygon. Again, there will be headers for each column.
Some attributes contain numbers after the header that corresponds to the soil profiles. For example, for ATTRIBUTExy, x is the soil number (1-5, 1 is the dominant soil) and y is the profile number (0-4). For the soil profile, 0 is for the complete profile (total soil, if no horizontal data area available) and 1-4 for the separate horizons. The relevant columns from the exported Soil 1 table are the MUID, ORGCARBO##, TEXTURE##, and DEPTHCM## (it helps to hide the other columns). There are two scenarios for the data:
1. The MUID does not have any horizontal data. In this case, use organic carbon and texture data for the complete profile and the effective depth from the General Info export file (note: the depths given from the FAO data are in cm while SWAT requires them in mm).
2. The MUID does have horizontal data. Use the individual layer DEPTHCM1#, ORGCARBO1#, and TEXTURE1#.
The organic carbon is given in terms of A,B,C, and D while the texture data is given as C, L, Sa, Si, or a combination. The corresponding values are given in the tables below:

Table 1: FAO Textural Classifications*

FAO - Texture C – Clay CL- Clay Loam L – Loam LS – Loamy Sand Sa- Sand SC- Sandy Clay SCL – Sandy Clay Loam SL- Sandy Loam Si - Silt SiC – Silty Clay SiCL – Silty Clay Loam SiL – Silty Loam

% Clay 50 34 18 6 5 42 28 10 6 47 34 20

%Sand 30 33 42 82 92 52 60 65 7 7 10 20

% Silt 20 33 40 12 3 6 12 25 87 46 56 60

*in the cases where multiple textures are listed, the averages of each percentage were taken.

Table 2: FAO Organic Matter Data

FAO – OM code

Organic Carbon in % weight
0 - 0.6 0 – 2 0.6 - 2 2 - 3 3 - 8 8+ N/A

OC used in SWAT/SPAW %
0.3 1 1.3 2.5 5.5 8 0.1

**Missing data was given a value of 0.1% because the region isn’t known to have fertile soil [1]

Exporting Shapefiles
In order to link the MUID data into SWAT, the country shapefiles will need to be exported and used in ArcMap. The ten countries and their corresponding ARC/INFO EXPORT files are in the EXPORT files (from the FAO CD) and are .E00 files. To do this, open ArcCatalog. Go into TOOLS->Customize and make sure the ArcView 8x Tools box is checked.
Now click the Conversation Tools button and select Import from Interchange File…

The input file is the SOTER export file of each country. Choose the file with the ending of .E00. The output dataset should have a corresponding name. Then press OK.
Now the dataset will be visible in ArcCatalog. Right click the data set and select Export->to Shapefile
The input features will automatically be added. Select the location of an output folder for the shapefile to be saved and press OK. The polygon shapefile is what will be used in ArcMap. It may also be necessary to add a coordinate system to the shapefile that matches the projection of the SWAT project. This is done in ArcCatalog by right clicking the file and selecting properties. Then under the XY coordinate system tab, a coordinate system can be selected for the shapefile. SPAW Pedotransfer Functions Using the textural data and organic matter data from FAO, the available water content (SOL_AWC), saturated hydraulic conductivity (SOL_K), and bulk density (SOL_BD) can be determined using a downloadable program called SPAW (available free from the following website:

Install and open SPAW. The SPAW program used to calculate the SWAT variable is the Soil Water Characteristics program. Make sure the values are in metric units (under options).
For each MUID, plug in the FAO data for organic carbon (1), and texture (using the drop down menu (2) or the manual inputs for % sand and % clay (3)). Once these values are filled in, press ENTER and the values of Available Water content (4), Saturated Hydraulic Conductivity (5), and Bulk Density (6) will be calculated. These values will need to be inputted into the new excel file under their respective headers.
This needs to be done for each layer of soil. While doing this, make sure to fill in the NLAYERS column for each MUID. This represents the number of layers of soil within the MUID. It will range from 1-4 depending on the data available.

2 4 5 6
Hydrologic Group (HYDGRP) Soil hydrologic groups are classified by four categories: A, B, C, and D based on infiltration characteristics. Using the definitions in the SWAT user manual and in the paper by Gijsman et. al.⁽²⁾ distinctions between the groups based on soil texture were computed. Sandier, deeper soils were given a value of A (% sand > 86, depth >= 1500 mm), fairly sandy, middepth soils were given a value of B (% sand >50, % clay < 35, and depth > 500 mm), soils that were slightly more clayey than sandy and fairly shallow were given a value of C (% clay >= 28, % sand <= 44, and depth <= 800 mm), and very clayey soils were given a value of D (% clay >= 50). If the soil wasn’t a definite fit for one of these categories, it was given the default value of B. Rock (SOL_ROCK) The FAO data doesn’t have a value for rockiness pertaining to each layer. A value of “stoniness” is even for each MUID (high and low). Use the low value as the rockiness for the first layer of soil.

Soil Albedo (SOL_ALB(top layer))
Soil albedo is the ratio of the amount of solar radiation reflected by a body to the amount incident upon it, expressed as a fraction. It can be calculated from a linear regression between albedo and the Chroma Meter Munsell color value⁽³⁾. The FAO data contains a Munsell color value for each MUID in the Soil 1 export file under COLWETC10. It is given in the format #/# where the first number is the medium value (lightness) and the second number is the chroma value. The value used for determining the soil albedo is the first (lightness) number. It is used in the following equation⁽²⁾:



For soil MUIDs that are missing a Munsell color value, use a default value of 0.13 (classified as brown by Gijsman et al⁽²⁾.

The USLE factor has to do with soil erodibility; some soils erode more easily than others even when all other factors are the same. The SWAT Input/Output documentation describes the factors that affect the USLE K value. Using textural data and organic carbon data from above, the USLE K value was found using the following equations from the SWAT documentation:







( ( (











DataSoilFao DataMuidSwat