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Macro-scale models of water and nutrient flux to the coastal zone
Vörösmarty, C.J.; Peterson, B.J. (2000). Macro-scale models of water and nutrient flux to the coastal zone, in: Hobbie, J.E. (Ed.) Estuarine science: a synthetic approach to research and practice. pp. 43-79
In: Hobbie, J.E. (Ed.) (2000). Estuarine science: a synthetic approach to research and practice. Island Press: Washington D.C. ISBN 1-55963-700-5. XI, 539 pp., more

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    VLIZ: Aquatic Ecology [6507]

Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Vörösmarty, C.J.
  • Peterson, B.J.

Abstract
    This chapter reviews our current capacity to predict the transport of water and constituents through drainage basins as a boundary forcing to the coastal zone. Our emphasis is on modeling as a synthesis tool and we focus on continental- to global-scale fluxes. We briefly summarize the rationale for considering such fluxes at the macro scale, noting that they have received relatively little attention in the global change arena. We also review and critique some major modeling approaches at the macro scale. We find that there are major deficiencies in the community's ability to simulate the land-based hydrological cycle, including the accurate prediction of discharge. Further, the development of general aquatic ecosystem models to predict the mobilization, processing, and transport of materials is in its infancy. It will require several years to formulate and institute aquatic process models at continental and global scales. We offer a GIS-based framework for developing models in the near term that can be used to predict the flux of water and biogeochemical constituents over the broad domain. This framework is cast to permit drainage basin loadings to be integrated within the current generation of Earth Systems Models (ESMs) while simultaneously permitting the longer-term development of more process-based models in a geographically specific manner. The development of such models will improve our current capacity to quantify interconnections between the continental land mass and coastal ecosystems of the globe. This capability is important both for refining contemporary flux inventories as well as for uncovering potential feedbacks with the major climate and biogeochemical systems of the planet.

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