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Why doesn't your model pass information to mine?

By Jeremy Giles and Holger Kessler


For several decades geologists have been making three-dimensional (3D) models. Various proprietary and open software tools have been developed which allow geoscientists to produce reasonable 3D representation of the geological system that they are studying. The model they produce is quite often an ‘island’ of independent information. For a long time this didn't matter as there were so few models that there were unlikely to be any adjacent models forming islands in the same sea area. However, that is changing, the sea is now getting crowded with island models that can't or won't communicate with each other. The problem is compounded by other disciplines such hydrologists, oceanographers and atmospheric scientists creating environmental models of their own which don't take account of the geological sciences or model them in a simplistic manner.\ud Take for example water resource management. A given area can have a 3D geological model, 3D hydrogeological model, a hydrological model and a precipitation model. Four models, produced by four disciplines, each using different methodologies, often based in different organisations or universities; of course none of the models passing data or information between each other. Our society needs to manage the water resources, but the models environmental scientists are producing do not provide a coherent and consistent, single picture for the policy makers. This is becoming increasingly recognised within the European Union (EU). The European Environment Agency recently completed an inventory and recognised that “over the past few decades, a myriad of models geared to depicting, simulating and projecting environmental change have been developed and applied1\ud The British Geological Survey (BGS) a component of the Natural Environment Research Council launch a project in early 2009 called Data and Applications for Environmental Modelling (DAEM) in preparation for SEIS. The aim of the project is to enable our models to pass data and information back and forth to other models. ”. This is one of many preparative steps for the SEIS (Shared Environmental Information System) initiative which may lead to a future EU Directive and transposition into member countries’ legislation.\ud The paper will describe challenges that the DAEM Project faces

Topics: Earth Sciences
Year: 2009
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