Validation of a Watershed Scale Drainage Model

William J. Northcott, Richard A C Cooke, Ashok K. Verma

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A distributed parameter, watershed scale drainage model was developed by integrating the DRAINMOD water balance model and Arcview GIS. This model simulates the hydrology of watersheds in tile-drained areas. For this model to be widely used it must be rigorously tested and validated. The Black Slough Watershed in East Central Illinois was used to validate the hydrology component of the model. GIS layers including topography and tile drains were used as inputs into the model as well as recorded climate data from the area. To validate the model, simulated stream flow, based on calibrated drainage parameters from another watershed, was compared to 80 days of observed flow. The goodness of fit between simulated and observed stream flow was tested using linear regression (R2), root mean square error (RMSE), and average daily deviation (ADD) statistics. This analysis provided an R2 of 0.754, RMSE of 0.11 cm, and an ADD of 0.045 cm. During one intense rainfall event (86 mm) the model predicted peak flow rate within 10% of the observed peak flow. This model shows potential as a powerful tool for studying the hydrology and water quality in regions with intensive tile drainage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event2000 ASAE Annual International Meeting, Technical Papers: Engineering Solutions for a New Century - Milwaukee, WI., United States
Duration: Jul 9 2000Jul 12 2000


Other2000 ASAE Annual International Meeting, Technical Papers: Engineering Solutions for a New Century
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMilwaukee, WI.


  • Surbsurface drainage
  • Tile mapping
  • Watershed modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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