Science Inventory

A SIMPLE MODEL FOR FORECASTING THE EFFECTS OF NITROGEN LOADS ON CHESAPEAKE BAY HYPOXIA

Citation:

SCAVIA, D., E. L. KELLY, AND J. D. HAGY. A SIMPLE MODEL FOR FORECASTING THE EFFECTS OF NITROGEN LOADS ON CHESAPEAKE BAY HYPOXIA. Estuaries and Coasts. Estuarine Research Federation, Port Republic, MD, 29(4):674-684, (2006).

Impact/Purpose:

to better estimate what nutrients load reductions are necessary to meet the water quality goals

Description:

The causes and consequences of oxygen depletion in Chesapeake Bay have been the focus of research, assessment, and policy action over the past several decades. An ongoing scientific re-evaluation of what nutrients load reductions are necessary to meet the water quality goals is needed. While models can provide insights and advice for public policy on load reduction goals, they are caricatures of nature, and it is wise to use independent modeling approaches. In this paper, we describe our simple, biophysically based model that offers a middle ground between statistical models and complex dynamic models. Our model suggests that the target total nitrogen load reduction of 35% will reduce hypoxic volumes by 36-68%, which, on average (53% or 3.4 km3) is lower than values reported for 1950-1970 (4.2 km3), and roughly half of the values reported for 1980-1990 (7.2 km3). By pursuing a simple model construct, we were able to quantify uncertainty to a greater extent than is possible with the more complex numerical models. Yet, by retaining some mechanistic details we could validate the model against state variables and process rates, an advantage over simple regressions.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 08/01/2006
Record Last Revised: 03/25/2013
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 143665

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

GULF ECOLOGY DIVISION

ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS AND EFFECTS BRANCH