The Olidih watershed hydrology was affected by opencast mines for the past five decades. This study explores the potential hydrological effect of these mines using Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT2012). The calibration and validation of the model was performed using daily streamflow and sediment yield data (2005–2008) at the outlet of the water shed. The model performed satisfactorily during simulation when tested with statistical indicators. The alternative scenario of no-mines was also modelled to assess the potential impact of abandoned opencast mines for the period 2005–2010. Results show that the abandoned opencast mines play a crucial role in altering hydrological processes of the watershed with 16% increase in the annual sediment yield and reduction of 51% and 6% in annual surface flow and water yield, respectively. This may be due to surface soil disturbance and accumulation of surface runoff in large depressions that resulted in less surface runoff and 13% more groundwater flow. The contribution of this analysis is the application of SWAT in modelling potential hydrological effect of abandoned opencast mines by defining large opencast mines as pothole during simulation.
Environmental Processes – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 16, 2017
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