This paper explains the background and development of the Environment Agency National Groundwater Modelling System (NGMS) to integrate recharge functionality with the existing groundwater modelling (Modflow functionality).
The Environment Agency groundwater models were originally developed primarily as a tool for making high-level strategic decisions but their use for short-term extreme event scenarios, such as drought or flood, has been relatively limited. This functionality has been constrained by the format of the rainfall/recharge input datasets. Undertaking scenario runs based on change in climate and weather has only been possible by direct manual alteration of those input datasets, which is not always practical on a day-to-day basis.
Full implementation of recharge models into NGMS changes this, allowing the recharge models to be run in the NGMS environment and output to be generated. The fusion aspect of the process involves that output being processed in such a way that it can be used by NGMS as input into a Modflow scenario run. This process is explained using the example of a recent drought scenario in the Wessex Basin groundwater model.
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Integrated Environmental Modelling to Solve Real World Problems: Methods, Vision and Challenges
The discipline of Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) has developed in order to solve complex environmental problems, for example understanding the impacts of climate change on the physical environment. IEM provides methods to fuse or link models together, this in turn requires facilities to make models discoverable and also to make the outputs of modelling easily visualized.
The vision and challenges for IEM going forward are summarized by leading proponents. Several case studies describe the application of model fusion to a range of real-world problems including integrating groundwater and recharge models within the UK Environment Agency, and the development of ‘catastrophe’ models to predict better the impact of natural hazards. Communicating modelling results to end users who are often not specialist modellers is also an emerging area of research addressed within the volume. Also included are papers that highlight current developments of the technology platforms underpinning model fusion.