KINEROS2/AGWA: Model use, calibration, and validation

D. C. Goodrich, I. S. Burns, C. L. Unkrich, D. J. Semmens, D. P. Guertin, M. Hernandez, S. Yatheendradas, J. R. Kennedy, L. R. Levick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


KINEROS (KINematic runoff and EROSion) originated in the 1960s as a distributed event-based model that conceptualizes a watershed as a cascade of overland flow model elements that flow into trapezoidal channel model elements. KINEROS was one of the first widely available watershed models that interactively coupled a finite difference approximation of the kinematic overland flow equations to a physically based infiltration model. Development and improvement of KINEROS continued from the 1960s on a variety of projects for a range of purposes, which has resulted in a suite of KINEROS-based modeling tools. This article focuses on KINEROS2 (K2), a spatially distributed, event-based watershed rainfall-runoff and erosion model, and the companion ArcGIS-based Automated Geospatial Watershed Assessment (AGWA) tool. AGWA automates the time-consuming tasks of watershed delineation into distributed model elements and initial parameterization of these elements using commonly available, national GIS data layers. A variety of approaches have been used to calibrate and validate K2 successfully across a relatively broad range of applications (e.g., urbanization, pre- and post-fire, hillslope erosion, erosion from roads, runoff and recharge, and manure transport). The case studies presented in this article (1) compare lumped to stepwise calibration and validation of runoff and sediment at plot, hillslope, and small watershed scales; and (2) demonstrate an uncalibrated application to address relative change in watershed response to wildfire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1561-1574
Number of pages14
JournalTransactions of the ASABE
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Distributed watershed model
  • Erosion
  • Kinematic wave
  • Rainfall-runoff
  • Sediment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Food Science
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Soil Science


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