The Integrated Distributed Hydrological Model, ECOFLOW- a Tool for Catchment Management

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: In order to find effective measures that meet the requirements for proper groundwater quality and quantity management, there is a need to develop a Decision Support System (DSS) and a suitable modelling tool. Central components of a DSS for groundwater management are thought to be models for surface- and groundwater flow and solute transport. The most feasible approach seems to be integration of available mathematical models, and development of a strategy for evaluation of the uncertainty propagation through these models. The physically distributed hydrological model ECOMAG has been integrated with the groundwater model MODFLOW to form a new integrated watershed modelling system - ECOFLOW. The modelling system ECOFLOW has been developed and embedded in Arc View. The multiple-scale modelling principle, combines a more detailed representation of the groundwater flow conditions with lumped watershed modelling, characterised by simplicity in model use, and a minimised number of model parameters. A Bayesian statistical downscaling procedure has also been developed and implemented in the model. This algorithm implies downscaling of the parameters used in the model, and leads to decreasing of the uncertainty level in the modelling results. The integrated model ECOFLOW has been applied to the Vemmenhög catchment, in Southern Sweden, and the Örsundaån catchment, in central Sweden. The applications demonstrated that the model is capable of simulating, with reasonable accuracy, the hydrological processes within both the agriculturally dominated watershed (Vemmenhög) and the forest dominated catchment area (Örsundaån). The results show that the ECOFLOW model adequately predicts the stream and groundwater flow distribution in these watersheds, and that the model can be used as a possible tool for simulation of surface– and groundwater processes on both local and regional scales. A chemical module ECOMAG-N has been created and tested on the Vemmenhög watershed with a highly dense drainage system and intensive fertilisation practises. The chemical module appeared to provide reliable estimates of spatial nitrate loads in the watershed. The observed and simulated nitrogen concentration values were found to be in close agreement at most of the reference points. The proposed future research includes further development of this model for contaminant transport in the surface- and ground water for point and non-point source contamination modelling. Further development of the model will be oriented towards integration of the ECOFLOW model system into a planned Decision Support System.