A hydrological analysis of the Spanish Lagoon Catchment with the AGWA model on Aruba

Mangrove forests are important ecosystems with a large biodiversity. This study focuses on a catchment in Aruba in which the Spanish Lagoon mangrove forest is located. The area is protected since 1980, and was added to the Arikok National park in 2017. The managing board of the park decided to excavate a channel to create new mangrove forest at the head of the lagoon. This study analyses the influence of the runoff and sediment on the lagoon. This has been done by executing field measurement to determine soil parameters and interviews and observation to create a land-use map. Those are used to model the hydrologic situation of the catchment with the AGWA model. This includes a simulation of a single extreme precipitation event with Kineros2 and a year-round simulation of the catchment with SWAT. The results show that deposition of sediment is a threat for the lifespan of the channel that has been excavated. For the long term, the analysis of the SWAT model gives an indication for the situation of the catchment until 2070. The outcomes show that further reduction of the amount of precipitation can have widespread consequences for the catchment.

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