Catchment modelling with SWAT


ECTS credits:



Course parameters:

Language: English

Level of course: PhD course

Time of year: May – June 2018

No. of contact hours/hours in total incl. preparation + assignment: 50 hours + 25 hours

Capacity limits: 8 participants


Objectives of the course:

  • to give students a thorough understanding of catchment modelling – hydrology and water quality,
  • to learn how to set up, calibrate and validate a catchment model and to perform scenario analyses,
  • to provide the students with an operational catchment model of their own study catchments


Learning outcomes and competences:

At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • On their own set-up, calibrate and validate a dynamic catchment model
  • Use a catchment model to analyse effects of changes in a catchment (e.g. land use or climate change)
  • Evaluate the uncertainties involved in modelling


Compulsory programme:

Active participation and a written assignment (10 pages)


Course contents:

1.     Introduction to catchment modelling:

a.     The catchment as a water management unit

b.     Basic catchment hydrology concepts

c.     Introduction to hydrological and water quality model

d.     Introduction to SWAT


2.     Setting up a SWAT model in Q-SWAT

a.     Starting a new project

b.     Catchment delineation

c.     Hydrological Response Units (HRU) definition

d.     Climate data input

e.     Input tables – Parameters

f.      Running the model

g.     Data visualization


3.     Calibrating a SWAT model in SWAT-CUP

a.     Introduction to the calibration process

b.     SWAT-CUP Inputs

c.     SUFI2 Execution in SWAT-CUP

d.     Calibration Outputs

e.     Sensitivity Analysis

f.      Validation

g.     Working with a calibrated model


4.     Scenario Simulation in Q-SWAT

a.     Land use change scenarios

b.     Climate change scenarios

c.     Agricultural management scenarios



Basic knowledge of GIS


Name of lecturers:

Eugenio Molina-Navarro and Hans Estrup Andersen

Type of course/teaching methods:




Material will be provided ahead of course start


Course homepage:



Course assessment:

A project report (app. 10 pages)



Department of Bioscience


Special comments on this course:




27 May to 1 June 2018



Department of Bioscience, Vejlsøvej 25, 8600 Silkeborg



Deadline for registration is 27 April 2018. Information regarding admission will be sent out no later 4 May 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact Eugenio Molina-Navarro / Hans Estrup Andersen, e-mail: /