GIS linked environmental process models

  • Thomas W. Charnock

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    In recent years there has been a great effort to combine the technologies and techniques of GIS and process models. This project examines the issues of linking a standard current generation 2½d GIS with several existing model codes. The focus for the project has been the Shropshire Groundwater Scheme, which is being developed to augment flow in the River Severn during drought periods by pumping water from the Shropshire Aquifer. Previous authors have demonstrated that under certain circumstances pumping could reduce the soil moisture available for crops. This project follows earlier work at Aston in which the effects of drawdown were delineated and quantified through the development of a software package that implemented a technique which brought together the significant spatially varying parameters. This technique is repeated here, but using a standard GIS called GRASS. The GIS proved adequate for the task and the added functionality provided by the general purpose GIS - the data capture, manipulation and visualisation facilities - were of great benefit. The bulk of the project is concerned with examining the issues of the linkage of GIS and environmental process models. To this end a groundwater model (Modflow) and a soil moisture model (SWMS2D) were linked to the GIS and a crop model was implemented within the GIS. A loose-linked approach was adopted and secondary and surrogate data were used wherever possible. The implications of which relate to; justification of a loose-linked versus a closely integrated approach; how, technically, to achieve the linkage; how to reconcile the different data models used by the GIS and the process models; control of the movement of data between models of environmental subsystems, to model the total system; the advantages and disadvantages of using a current generation GIS as a medium for linking environmental process models; generation of input data, including the use of geostatistic, stochastic simulation, remote sensing, regression equations and mapped data; issues of accuracy, uncertainty and simply providing adequate data for the complex models; how such a modelling system fits into an organisational framework.
    Date of Award1997
    Original languageEnglish


    • GIS
    • environmental process models
    • linkage
    • groundwater model
    • input data

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