EGU24-21812, updated on 11 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

SWAP 50 year: Advances in modelling soil-water-atmosphere-plant interactions

Marius Heinen1, Martin Mulder1, Jos van Dam2, Ruud Bartholomeus2,3, Quirijn de Jong van Lier4, Janine de Wit3, Allard de Wit1, and Mirjam Hack-ten Broeke1
Marius Heinen et al.
  • 1Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 2Wageningen University, Soil Physics and Land Management, Wageningen, The Netherlands
  • 3KWR Water Research Institute, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
  • 4DVECO/CENA, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Modelling soil-water-atmosphere-plant interactions and the modelling of processes in the unsaturated zone is performed in research and engineering projects worldwide, often extended to practical applications by stakeholders. The hydrological model SWAP stands out as a frequently used tool in this context. We consider the SWAP model and its predecessors like SWATR and SWACROP to have been initiated half a century ago, in 1974, in an article by Feddes, Bresler and Neuman in Water Resources Research entitled ‘Field test of a modified numerical model for water uptake by root systems’.


Over the years, the evolution to the present version of SWAP went through a great number of alterations, additions and improvements. In this contribution we will provide an overview on these developments, especially those from most recent years. This will include, amongst others, root growth dynamics, root water uptake and links to crop growth modelling. We aim on further improvements given new challenges like those resulting from climate change, extreme weather events, aspects of environmental sustainability, model parameterization, and model structure.


How to cite: Heinen, M., Mulder, M., van Dam, J., Bartholomeus, R., de Jong van Lier, Q., de Wit, J., de Wit, A., and Hack-ten Broeke, M.: SWAP 50 year: Advances in modelling soil-water-atmosphere-plant interactions, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-21812,, 2024.

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