Water Resources Management

, Volume 24, Issue 9, pp 1747–1761 | Cite as

Uncertainty Analysis in Sediment Load Modeling Using ANN and SWAT Model

  • Mansour Talebizadeh
  • Saeid Morid
  • Seyyed Ali Ayyoubzadeh
  • Mehdi Ghasemzadeh


Sediment load estimation is essential in many water resources projects. In this study, the capability of two different types of model including SWAT as a process-based model and ANNs as a data-driven model in simulating sediment load were evaluated. The issue of uncertainty in the simulated outputs of the two models which stems from different sources was also investigated. Calibration and uncertainty analysis of SWAT were performed using monthly observed discharge and sediment load values and through the application of SUFI-2 procedure. The issue of uncertainty in the ANN model was also accounted for by training a network several times with different initial weights and bias values as well as randomly-selected training and validation sets, each time a network trained. Trying different input variables to find the best and most efficient network structure, it was found that in the forested watershed of Kasilian, adding average daily rainfall or previous values of discharge dose not change the performance of the ANN model significantly. Comparing the results of SWAT and ANN, it was found that SWAT model has a superior performance in estimating high values of sediment load, whereas ANN model estimated low and medium values more accurately. Moreover, prediction interval for the results of ANN was narrower than that of SWAT which suggests that ANN outputs are with less uncertainty.


Uncertainty analysis Neural network SWAT Inverse modeling SUFI2 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mansour Talebizadeh
    • 1
  • Saeid Morid
    • 1
  • Seyyed Ali Ayyoubzadeh
    • 1
  • Mehdi Ghasemzadeh
    • 1
  1. 1.Agriculture Faculty, Water Resources DepartmentTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran

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