SWATShare– A Platform for Collaborative Hydrology Research and Education with Cyber-enabled Sharing, Running and Visualization of SWAT Models

Friday, 19 December 2014
Mohammad Adnan Rajib, Venkatesh Merwade, Carol Song, Lan Zhao, I Luk Kim and Shandian Zhe, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, United States
Setting up of any hydrologic model requires a large amount of efforts including compilation of all the data, creation of input files, calibration and validation. Given the amount of efforts involved, it is possible that models for a watershed get created multiple times by multiple groups or organizations to accomplish different research, educational or policy goals. To reduce the duplication of efforts and enable collaboration among different groups or organizations around an already existing hydrology model, a platform is needed where anyone can search for existing models, perform simple scenario analysis and visualize model results. The creator and users of a model on such a platform can then collaborate to accomplish new research or educational objectives. From this perspective, a prototype cyber-infrastructure (CI), called SWATShare, is developed for sharing, running and visualizing Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) models in an interactive GIS-enabled web environment. Users can utilize SWATShare to publish or upload their own models, search and download existing SWAT models developed by others, run simulations including calibration using high performance resources provided by XSEDE and Cloud. Besides running and sharing, SWATShare hosts a novel spatio-temporal visualization system for SWAT model outputs. In temporal scale, the system creates time-series plots for all the hydrology and water quality variables available along the reach as well as in watershed-level. In spatial scale, the system can dynamically generate sub-basin level thematic maps for any variable at any user-defined date or date range; and thereby, allowing users to run animations or download the data for subsequent analyses. In addition to research, SWATShare can also be used within a classroom setting as an educational tool for modeling and comparing the hydrologic processes under different geographic and climatic settings. SWATShare is publicly available at https://www.water-hub.org/swatshare.