2012 Annual Report
The project is organized around short term and long term objectives. Looking to the near term (Objective 1), we will evaluate and adapt existing modeling strategies for incorporating vadose zone processes into regional simulations, identify parsimonious modeling techniques, assess uncertainties associated with differing modeling approaches, and make calculations illustrating uncertainties associated with modeling various management scenarios.
In the longer term, we anticipate that increased computing power and improved sensing technologies and land use data will eventually permit significantly higher resolution simulations than is currently possible. Toward that end (Objective 2), we will investigate the use of remote sensing and other data to estimate soil properties at a higher resolution, and will develop improved models for coupled overland and subsurface transport which will be able take advantage of high resolution topographic data.
The project should lead to recommendations for developing modeling components of basin-scale salinity, nutrient management plans, and to improve capabilities for predicting the long-term effects of management decisions on soil and groundwater quality.
Work on Objective 1 and Objective 2.2 began in February 2012. Under Objective 1, a system is being developed which will, for a specified geolocation, provide parameter probability distributions for soil parameters that are used in hydrologic model calculations. The system works by retrieving for the specified location USDA-NRCS soil survey data (SSURGO) and processing the data to obtain the required parameter distributions. By focusing on parameter distributions (rather than single parameter values), it will be possible to evaluate uncertainty in model predictions. Data to be used in these evaluations are described in the accomplishment statement of the final annual report for the terminated project 5310-61000-014-00D. Under Objective 2.2, work has begun on a coupled surface and subsurface flow and transport model. A system of model equations has been developed and it is being solved and evaluated using a multi-physics programming environment. A critical SY vacancy has delayed initiation of work on Objective 2.1.