Scott Wells

Date of Award

Summer 8-4-2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 100 pages)


Hydrologic models -- Calibration, Hydrodynamics -- Mathematical models, Water quality -- Mathematical models, Watershed management -- Iran -- Karkheh River Watershed -- Case studies




One of the most important purposes of surface water resource management is to develop predictive models to assist in identifying and evaluating operational and structural measures for improving water quality. To better understand the effects of external and internal nutrient and organic loading and the effects of reservoir operation, a model is often developed, calibrated, and used for sensitivity and management simulations. The importance of modeling and simulation in the scientific community has drawn interest towards methods for automated calibration. This study addresses using an automatic technique to calibrate the water quality model CE-QUAL-W2 (Cole and Wells, 2013). CE-QUAL-W2 is a two-dimensional (2D) longitudinal/vertical hydrodynamic and water quality model for surface water bodies, modeling eutrophication processes such as temperature-nutrient-algae-dissolved oxygen-organic matter and sediment relationships. The numerical method used for calibration in this study is the particle swarm optimization method developed by Kennedy and Eberhart (1995) and inspired by the paradigm of birds flocking. The objective of this calibration procedure is to choose model parameters and coefficients affecting temperature, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, and nutrients (such as NH4, NO3, and PO4). A case study is presented for the Karkheh Reservoir in Iran with a capacity of more than 5 billion cubic meters that is the largest dam in Iran with both agricultural and drinking water usages. This algorithm is shown to perform very well for determining model parameters for the reservoir water quality and hydrodynamic model. Implications of the use of this procedure for other water quality models are also shown.

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Hydrology Commons