Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Chansheng He

Second Advisor

Dr. Charles Emerson

Third Advisor

Dr. Lisa M. DeChano-Cook


SWAT, dams, sediment, Kalamazoo River, nutrients

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was applied to the Kalamazoo River Watershed in order to evaluate the impacts that several dams within a superfund site "Area of Concern" have on the sediment, nutrients, and streamflow of the system. It was hypothesized that the SWAT model could be used to recreate the watershed in hopes of estimating the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment that would result from the removal of the dams. The model would then be used to evaluate dam removal scenarios to come up with a best management practice (BMP).

The model was calibrated, however, during the validation phase the statistical derived accuracy measurements showed that the model was incapable of accurately recreating the conditions found within the watershed. The parameters that dictated the movement of water through the system had been systematically adjusted to rectify this problem without success. Systematic adjustments of the coefficients revealed that no accurate representation of the watershed could be created using the data described in this study. The manual calibration of the model uncovered that in order to produce model values that are similar to the observed data that values which lie outside the range allowed by the model must be used. The use of such values contradicts the actual traits that would result from the data used for the creation of the model.

Included in

Geography Commons