Development of a decision framework to identify appropriate spatial and temporal scales for modeling N flows

Egon Dumont, Carolien Kroeze, E.J. Bakker, A. Stein, Lex Bouwman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Decision makers need to know the effects of alternative watershed management strategies on export of nitrogen (N) to coastal waters. They use this knowledge to reduce undesirable effects of excess N in coastal waters. Various models exist to predict the effects of watershed management on export of N. This paper describes a decision framework to identify the appropriate spatial and temporal scales for using N flux models. The framework is developed for existing models that predict N export from large watersheds and the contribution of N sources and N sinks to this N export. With this framework, modelers can identify the appropriate scale for model predictions and independently scalable model parts. The framework bases the appropriateness of model scales on indicators, which are to be specified by the modeler and which are associated with four criteria. The four criteria require modeling scales to correspond with (A) data, mitigation options, and scenarios, (B) model assumptions, (C) available resources for modeling, and (D) requirements of prediction users. A successful application of the framework is illustrated for a global model of dissolved inorganic nitrogen export from watersheds to coastal waters. Ranges of appropriate scales are determined for model output and five independently scalable model parts, which model the (1) surface N balance, (2) point sources, (3) N flux in sediments and small streams, (4) retention in dammed reservoirs, and (5) riverine retention. Appropriate model scales were found, if the four criteria were not set too strict. We conclude that the decision framework can contribute substantially to selecting the appropriate modeling scales in a balanced and comprehensive manner.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of ACCURACY 2006 - 7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
EditorsMarco Painho, Mario Caetano
PublisherInstituto Geografica Portugues
Pages730-739
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9728867271, 9789728867270
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 2006 - Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 5 Jul 20067 Jul 2006
Conference number: 7

Conference

Conference7th International Symposium on Spatial Accuracy Assessment in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences 2006
Abbreviated titleAccuracy 2006
CountryPortugal
CityLisbon
Period5/07/067/07/06

Keywords

  • Decision support
  • Models
  • Nitrogen cycling
  • Scale
  • Surface water quality

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