Mechanistic-based Watershed Modeling for Evaluation of Ecosystem Conditions

EPA Grant Number: R827956
Title: Mechanistic-based Watershed Modeling for Evaluation of Ecosystem Conditions
Investigators: Yeh, Gour-Tsyh , Gwo, J. P. , Schayek, Lily
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: January 10, 2000 through September 30, 2003 (Extended to September 30, 2005)
Project Amount: $888,637
RFA: Computing Technology for Ecosystem Modeling (1999) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Environmental Statistics

Description:

The research is to develop a robust, efficient, mechanistic based watershed numerical model for ecosystem modeling, that is comprised of river/stream, overland, and saturated/unsaturated subsurface media and accounts for hydrodynamic, sediment transport, pollutant transport, fate and transformation. The model will be highly modularized and adapted to high performance computing environments. The model will be linked to several user-friendly platforms of modeling environment.

Objectives/Hypothesis:

In response to EPA ecological research strategies (EPA, 1998), the overall objectives of the proposed research are to provide the first principle-based modeling tools for: 1) understanding, quantifying, and modeling key transport and transformation mechanisms of physical, chemical, and biological processes; 2) developing an integrated modeling system for high priority problems of interest (EPA, 1998) including sediments, nutrients, industrial chemicals, pesticides, metals, algae, and microbes; and 3) providing a prototype modeling framework for the EPA covering a full range of computing architectures from personal computers to scalable, parallel machines.

Objective:

In response to EPA ecological research strategies (EPA, 1998), the overall objectives of the proposed research are to provide the first principle-based modeling tools for: 1) understanding, quantifying, and modeling key transport and transformation mechanisms of physical, chemical, and biological processes; 2) developing an integrated modeling system for high priority problems of interest (EPA, 1998) including sediments, nutrients, industrial chemicals, pesticides, metals, algae, and microbes; and 3) providing a prototype modeling framework for the EPA covering a full range of computing architectures from personal computers to scalable, parallel machines.

Approach:

To achieve the above objectives, the approach taken is to conduct four research tasks. The first is to enhance the robustness and accuracy of WASH123D (Yeh et. al, 1998). The second is to link to visualization/user interfaces of several selected modeling environments such as GMS, BASIN, ARGUS, etc. The third is to port the model to high performance computing under several hardware architectures. Finally, the fourth is to verify and validate each module in the modeling software with experimental data, and the complete model will be validated with field data from the watersheds located in the Mid Atlantic region.

Expected Results:

The significance (expected results) of this research is threefold. First, it enables us to move beyond past piecemeal approaches and creates an integrated approach needed to facilitate the evolution toward more comprehensive assessment tools. Second, it is in line with EPA's goal that requires future models "to be based as closely as possible on first principle" and "sufficiently complex in their description of the understanding processes that they become virtual realities" (EPA, 1998). Third, the numerical software will be instrumental in: providing exposure concentrations from multiple stressors at multiple scales, aiding in the selection of indicators and design of a monitoring network, and providing a physics-based tool for watershed assessment. Furthermore, WASH123D will provide a mechanistic-based TMDL input for lakes/reservoirs and tidal water bodies.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 51 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 7 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

watershed modeling, first principle-based model, numerical modeling, fully dynamic wave, surface runoff, subsurface flow, river hydrodynamics, reactive chemical transport, sediment transport, high performance computing., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Toxics, Waste, Water, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Hydrology, Nutrients, Ecology, Contaminated Sediments, Mathematics, Environmental Chemistry, Ecosystem/Assessment/Indicators, Ecosystem Protection, Chemistry, pesticides, Fate & Transport, computing technology, Wet Weather Flows, Biology, Ecological Indicators, hydrological stability, aquatic ecosystem, nutrient transport, ecosystem modeling, fate and transport, ecological exposure, high performance computing, computer simulation model, streams, watershed, mechanistic based watershed modeling, ecological modeling, sediment transport, contaminated sediment, ecosystem evaluation, numerical models, sediment, mechanistic-based watershed modeling, watershed modeling, industrial chemicals, tidal influence, computer science, tidal water bodies, microbial pollution, numerical model, bioindicators, subsurface media, component-based software, information technology, water quality, lake ecosystems

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2000 Progress Report
  • 2001
  • 2002
  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final Report